Andrew Bogut will not play in the NBL, Sydney Kings coach Ian Robilliard has confirmed.
The Milwaukee Bucks star had agreed to join the Kings for the 2011-2012 NBL season, pending the approval of the insurance policy that covers his three-year $39 million NBA contract.
However, Robilliard confirmed that the deal had fallen through.
“The insurance deal fell over at the eleventh hour and therefore he can’t get insurance to protect his NBA contract,” Robilliard said.
“I can confirm that he won’t be in the NBL.”
“Talking with our executive director and general manager, they were very confident the deal would get done,” he said.
“I was told there were only a few words on the insurance policy that needed to change. It appears those words were fairly significant because it has fallen over, literally at the last hour.”
Bogut’s manager, Bruce Kaider, explained the sticking point had nothing to do with any lingering complaints relating to his horrific injuries suffered while attempting a dunk in an NBA fixture against Toronto Raptors in April 2010.
“No, It had nothing to do with any existing injuries at all,” Kaider said.
“It was more around should he get injured playing for the Kings and goes back to Milwaukee, and they say they’re going to terminate his contract because he can’t pass a medical.
“We wanted full guarantee and in the end they weren’t prepared to give the full guarantee.
“At the start of this process, we wanted to make sure we left no stone unturned and I think we can all look each other in the eye and say we did that.”
Kaider said Bogut was extremely disappointed with the outcome and is expected to play some role in helping out the Kings in some form this season.
“He really wanted to give something back to the game and build it back up to where it was; he was really enthused by that and so he is really disappointed today because that’s not going to happen,” Kaider added.
“Throughout this whole process we’ve been really impressed by the professionalism of the Kings, and Andrew has certainly got a soft spot for the Sydney Kings, so we’d love to have a conversation with the NBL and see what ongoing role he may be able to play.”
The Kings open their NBL campaign on Friday with a clash against Melbourne Tigers. The Tigers will feature Portland Trail Blazers star Patty Mills, whose NBA insurance policy was approved with little headache.
“We are talking two significantly different figures in terms of salary and remuneration,” said Robilliard. “That is why Patty Mills is able to play and why the insurance is so difficult for Andrew Bogut.”
The only positive in Bogut not appearing for the Kings this season is it will enable Robilliard to grant a local player a contract with the club.
“Should Andrew Bogut have signed with the Sydney Kings, I was faced with the dilemma of who not to activate in terms of our roster, so at least I can now put that behind me,” he said.
“The uncertainty that Bogut created has been handled well, but now that it’s behind us I think it will galvanise our group even more.”
“We are anticipating a very successful season, and we want to kick it off tonight down in Melbourne, where we have a good track record.”
by Buford Balony