Sunday, July 29, 2007

What Andrew Bogut did on his Summer Vacation

Andrew Bogut hasn't quite lit the NBA on fire with is play during his first two years in the league, but you can't really call him a bust yet either. The upcoming season will be a big one for the young big man's future.

But I'm not talking about that now. This is the Summertime. And Bogut isn't currently running the floor, he's running his mouth.

In June Bogut made some moderately controversial generalizations to the Sydney Morning Herald about some of his fellow NBA players and NBA and American culture in general. For the most part, Bogut's public comments have slid under the media radar, but it has caused a bit of a ripple in the Bucks already busy off-season. Here are some of his remarks:

"The public's image of NBA players is true. A lot of them (NBA players) get caught up in the hype and do video clips with rappers and all that crap. They want bling bling all over themselves and drive fast cars. But that's just the way the culture is in America - if you've got it flaunt it and if you don't, you can't."

"But that's where it stops for me," he says. "I'm not into jewellery. I've got some earrings but they're not too expensive. There are guys who drop a hundred grand for a chain. The public's got it right - a lot of NBA stars are arrogant and like to spend lots of money and have lots of girlfriends and all that. The smarter guys don't do that. They like to live a regular life and want to retire and be set up. About 80 per cent of them go broke by the time they retire or come close to it."

"We have compulsory tutoring each week where they teach you to manage your money and they tell you about all the things that can happen to you, people trying to take advantage of you, but it's amazing how many guys totally ignore it. I guess if you're a normal person and suddenly you're getting $10 million a year, it can go to your head."

"But it's just the culture over there. I would never want my child to be brought up in an environment like that, where if you have money you're supposed to flaunt it and make everyone jealous."We have compulsory tutoring each week where they teach you to manage your money and they tell you about all the things that can happen to you, people trying to take advantage of you, but it's amazing how many guys totally ignore it. I guess if you're a normal person and suddenly you're getting $10 million a year, it can go to your head."

"But it's just the culture over there. I would never want my child to be brought up in an environment like that, where if you have money you're supposed to flaunt it and make everyone jealous."

Although Bogut does make some valid points, this type of sweeping generalizations usually makes one look a bit foolish. That and a rat-tail hair cut combined can make one look really foolish. I commend Bogut for voicing his opinion, even is he did make some curious comments. He certainly has a right to speak his mind. At best he's cocking off about a culture in the NBA that deserves criticism. At worst, he comes off as hypocritical and somewhat elitist. I guess we'll see what the rest of the NBA thinks of his comments in November.

For the complete interview, check out the Sydney Morning Herald article.

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