The Sydney Kings have just released a statement confirming the situation with Andrew Bogut, in that he will not be playing in the NBL in 2011/12 with the club. The unfortunate situation comes about due to an inability to secure adequate insurance to cover the big man for lost income should he have been injured playing in Australia.
The difficult situation in gaining coverage for Bogut’s contract with the Milwaukee Bucks comes about due to both the contract’s significant amount in monetary terms, coupled with Bogut’s recent injury history. A number of smaller clauses in the insurance coverage were the final hiccups in securing Bogut with the Kings, after he had turned down other potential suitors in the Gold Coast Blaze and Adelaide 36ers.
The official statement from the Sydney Kings is as follows:
Andrew Bogut will not be joining the Sydney Kings for the 2011-2012 NBL season.
Speculation of his pending signing with the team during the NBA lock-out was quashed early on Friday morning (AEST), when is became clear that a suitable insurance policy to cover Andrew Bogut’s existing NBA contract could not be sourced.
The disappointment of Bogut not joining the Sydney Kings, is overshadowed by the ability of head coach, Ian ‘Moose’ Robilliard and his new line-up of players to take to the court to seriously contest the NBL 2011-2012 season.
“Naturally, we are disappointed that Andrew’s management could not get the appropriate cover to secure his NBA contract; but the team we are going to put on the court this season is, in my opinion, a phenomenal, committed group willing to work for one another. They will be very exciting to watch,” Robilliard said.
The first game against the Melbourne Tigers will take place in Melbourne tonight and will be followed by the first home game against the current competition champions, the New Zealand Breakers, at the Kingdome on Saturday October 15, 2011.
Of course, this news is deeply disappointing to Kings fans and NBL fans alike, as to have a talent of Bogut’s magnitude in the league would have been a huge spectacle for Australian basketball. The NBA centre would have been a huge boost to the Kings’ chances on the court and would have provided a great opportunity for other players on the team to learn from him.
Despite this, it must be remembered that there is every chance that the NBA Lockout will be resolved relatively soon, limiting the number of games that Bogut would have been able to play in Australia in any case. With the certainty that he will not be joining the team, the core members of the Kings can prepare for the season ahead with solidarity, having already amassed an impressive lineup likely to greatly surpass last season’s performance in their return to the league. The likes of starters Julian Khazzouh, Jerai Grant, Ben Madgen, Anatoly Bose and Aaron Bruce form an imposing lineup.
Tonight the Kings take on fellow NBA player Patty Mills (Portland Trail Blazers) as they visit the Melbourne Tigers, in what should be a huge battle. The game is available live on NBL Radio, via NBL.com.au.