Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) passes the ball past the Detroit Pistons Aron Baynes (12) during the fourth quarter of their game on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors defeated the Pistons 109 to 95. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
OAKLAND – Warriors center Andrew Bogut explained his cryptic tweet about the play that left teammate Andre Iguodala injured by asking a question.
“What do you think if a different guy did that like a (Matthew) Dellavedova?” Bogut asked about his Australian countryman and friend who played college basketball at Saint Mary’s.
Both Bogut and Dellavedova have been labeled “dirty” players in the past and most recently in January when a Los Angeles Times poll of 24 anonymous coaches, assistants and players gave the two multiple votes for being among the dirtiest.
Bogut isn’t so much bothered by Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard for the play on which Iguodala sprained his left ankle as he is by the double standard that he sees.
“It seems like certain guys – predominantly international – that are the dirty guys in the league,” Bogut said. “That would have been a national outrage if it was somebody else. It goes back to I don’t think Damian did it on purpose. I don’t think he did it on purpose. I don’t think he tried to hurt Andre. But the be-all end-all, it’s a reckless play. No matter how you look at it. I don’t think he tried to hurt him, but at the same time, you dove for a loose ball through someone’s legs. That’s what happens, and that’s just unfortunate, but like I said, they’d be calling for his head (if it was somebody else).
“There’s a huge double standard, a massive double standard. And I’m not saying Damian should get in trouble. Nothing like that…It’s more like the perception afterwards of the double standard. Like if it’s a big 7-foot international guy, all of a sudden, ‘Oh yeah, he’s not as skilled or talented.’ An All-Star does it, ‘You know, he was just hustling.’ Which is a disappointing thing.”
Dellavedova, Steven Adams from New Zealand, Bogut, Matt Barnes, and the Congolese-Spanish player Serge Ibaka received the most votes for dirtiest players in the Los Angeles Times poll.
Bogut pointed out that while he has been labeled dirty, he has never injured another player – unlike what happened Friday when Lillard got tangled up with Iguodala in the third quarter as the Warriors led 106-83.
“People straight-away say that I’m dirty,” Bogut said. “I’ve never put a guy out. I’ve screened guys hard. I’ve hard-fouled guys. I’ve never put a guy out.
“People, they’re going crazy at me because I’m supposed to be a dirty player, and it’s like, that’s fine. But if you check in my 11-year career, I’ve never fouled somebody or been physical with somebody, and they’ve missed the next game or been injured. Period.”
Bogut said he doesn’t actually care that he is seen by some as dirty.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to go and eat dinner with guys I’m playing against,” Bogut said. “I’m not going to be friends with them. When I’m not playing basketball, I’m not going to be there while in Australia. So I really don’t care. If they hate playing against me, that’s a good thing. But I’m not going out there trying to hurt people. I am going out there to try and nail guys on screens to get my teammates open. A hundred percent. You can quote me on that. I am going to be physical and throw my weight around and take the hard fouls. That’s what is expected from me.
“I’ve never taken anyone’s legs out. Go back on record and have a look.”
As for Lillard, Bogut might have tweeted that the play was reckless. But he didn’t mean that he thought the Oakland native was trying to hurt Iguodala.
“There’s no way I said he did it on purpose,” Bogut said. “I think it was a basketball play. Was it a silly play? Yes.
“But these things happen in the game. But at the same time, if one guy did it on the same play compared to someone else, what’s the difference? That’s just the annoying thing. But that comes with status and all that kind of stuff. So it’s just really frustrating. You read between the lines and see who a lot of guys say the dirty guys are. It’s generally always international guys.”