Well, I'm officially ticked off with the whole lockout and it's associated complete lack of tangible NBA/Bucks news. I've been suffering from major non-post-itis the last few weeks and have decided to compile a brief breakdown of Andrew Bogut's current foray into potentially signing with an Australian NBL side. If you're brave...or bored...read on after the jump...
Along with a plethora of other NBA players considering their playing options during the current lockout, Andrew Bogut is also looking to stay involved in competitive basketball. He is currently entertaining 3 serious offers from teams in Australia's National Basketball League (NBL), the Sydney Kings, Adelaide 36ers and Gold Coast Blaze. A 4th team, the Perth Wildcats, officially dropped out of the hunt in early September. He would join another Australian NBA player in the league, Portland's Patty Mills, who signed with the highly respected Melbourne Tigers in August. Ex-Buck Julius Hodge played with the Tigers in 2009/10.
With indications being highly likely that Bogut will play in the NBL, who do I think he will choose to sign with?
To me, it comes down to a choice between two teams, the Kings and the Blaze. The four-time champion 36ers are one of the oldest teams in the league but Adelaide is really a non-factor in my opinion as it is a city quite isolated from the major markets of the east coast and his hometown of Melbourne. For Bogut, despite his low-key demeanour, it is not a place where he (or many others) would probably want to spend a working holiday. And if this is the best that Adelaide can do, I think they're already sunk.
That leaves the Kings and the Blaze to choose from. The Sydney Kings are three-time champions of the NBL, who folded for a season in 2008 due to financial difficulty, before re-entering the competition the following year. Sydney, of course, is Australia's largest city with a population of around 4.5 million. If you want to improve your image or brand, Sydney is the town to do it in. It also has appalling traffic congestion and waaaay too many people per square metre! Not Bogues's cup of tea at all (My wife is from Sydney and, personally, I can't stand the place!). It is also the hub for Australia's media and quasi-superstars who seem to be keen to get Bogut to the Kings (I honestly couldn't tell you who most of these 'stars' are).
The Gold Coast Blaze are a recent addition to the NBL, being founded in 2007, 11 years after the Gold Coast Rollers NBL franchise had it's licence revoked by the league. The Gold Coast is the fastest growing metropolitan city in Australia, with a permanent population of 600,000. It is probably Australia's best known holiday destination. It offers similar attractions as Sydney without the hassle of 4.5 million people. Blaze fans have been exhorted to take to Twitter to get Bogut to sign with the Blaze. The Gold Coast is also the closest NBL team to where I live, henceforth I reveal my bias!
My vote: I think the Blaze will win the race to sign Bogut over the Kings, I just hope that the media down here don't turn it into a 'Lebron - The Decision' style sideshow.
Now, FIBA just needs to sort out that pesky insurance thing...