When news broke that he would be unable to play due to the severe injury, the chances of a first-round upset by the Warriors against the Los Angeles Clippers became that much slimmer.
It’s hard to blame Bogut for not being available: would you risk puncturing your lung for any game? For any amount of money? It was a sensible decision on his part from a longevity standpoint, especially for him in particular because of all the freak injuries he has suffered in his career and how long he had to be out because of them. According to Stephen A. Smith and his source, though, that apparently isn’t the case (via Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group):
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Andrew Bogut: “He can certainly defend but behind his back he is called the Tin Man for a reason. No heart.”
— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) May 6, 2014
Stephen A. Smith: Ws “devoid of big man presence b/c Andrew Bogut continuously resembled Andrew Bogus as somebody who’s a complete no-show.” — Diamond Leung (@diamond83) May 6, 2014
Really? Bogut has no heart because he couldn’t play through a broken rib? He’s “Tin Man” because he suffered a blow to his rib? How exactly does any of that make any sense? Here are two of his primary injuries in the past that have been a huge detriment to his career: the elbow/hand injury and the ankle injury. Watch with caution, because those are some gruesome injuries – freak injuries that would devastate anyone and not just someone who is injury prone or “has no heart”.
Smith’s comments were unnecessary, uncalled for, and mostly untrue. To say Bogut has no heart makes little sense, given that he has put everything on the line any time he was called upon this season, and the numbers back up that notion: he had the second highest defensive rebounding percentage behind DeMarcus Cousins, was tied with Dwight Howard for sixth in blocks per game despite averaging just 26 minutes to Howard’s 34 minutes (you’ll have to ask Mark Jackson what that’s about), and had the second best defensive rating in the league just behind Joakim Noah.
And by the way, Bogut actually came back into the game against the Blazers (a play after he suffered the fractured rib) for one final stop in regulation (the game went to overtime) to get a defensive stop – which he did. How is that for no heart?
The center eventually did hear of the comments made by Smith on Friday and had this to say:
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) May 9, 2014
James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.