In an interview with Scott Howard-Cooper of Hang-Time Blogs, Andrew Bogut reinforced his desire for a contract extension, but dropped a couple bombs about how he felt on the path towards his goal.
"Just based on the fact that my last two injuries I can’t control," Bogut said. "If these were chronic injuries from lack of conditioning or not working out in the summer or being a fat slob, I can understand the caution. But would I do things to the extent that Andrew Bynum’s done with his contract? Hell no. The clauses that he has, there’s no chance I would sign a contract. But basically having game incentives — whatever the number is, 60, 70, whatever it is — I have no problem. I think that’s only fair."
On one hand, it's refreshing to see and hear a professional athlete come off so brutally honest, even if it he can make it sound as if he doesn't like the managers, teams and anyone around him. Though that's not the case, Bogut's honesty does render him self-awareness unseen in most professional athletes. We want our idols, favorite players, man-crushes to think of themselves as the Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. We seek to compare them to other athletes, always looking for the similarities to fulfill this idealized notion of talent in our minds. Small white wide receiver? Wes Welker! Slow, pass-first guard? He must be gritty and a "pure" point guard! These arbitrary characterizations are endless.
In Bogut, we see a player that knows and understands his limitations; he isn't young and as agile as he was on the Milwaukee Bucks and he knows his time is running out on a chance to make more money. He knows that the Warriors also realize he won't regain that type of ability at his age and looked to move for a once-in-a-generation talent like Dwight Howard.
And he doesn't forget.
In that sense, he's essentially giving the Warriors an ultimatum: either give me an extension before the regular season begins or I'm betting on myself. This works a couple ways for Bob Myers and the Warriors. Either Bogut, fresh off an offseason where he lost a literal child's worth of weight, resembles 80 percent of what he used to be and commands top dollar on the market - OR - he breaks down as he has, and numerous other big men like Yao Ming and Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden, have done so in the past few years, culminating in his search elsewhere on an incentive-laden deal.
The Warriors are assuredly trying to sign him to some type of Stephen Curry-ish discount deal with some injury clauses, but it appears Bogut won't fall for that if only because he wants to spite the team or believes in a career year from himself. We're all hoping for the latter. And most importantly, perhaps, this could cause a distraction if it does linger into the season. The players are assuredly privy to Bogut's behavior by now and his honesty shouldn't come as a surprise. Regardless, to have his season, performance, contract and, however slight, distraction, loom over their heads isn't a desirable plan of attack to start any season, much less one so promising.
Bob Myers will likely figure something out. He's already done so when Curry was pining for his own extension before the start of last season and maneuvered his way out of salary cap hell with pending (overpaid) re-signings of Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry to go along with Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson. And it isn't as if Joe Lacob isn't willing to spend if the proverbial crap really starts to hit the fan. A story now - two weeks before the season - might become just that when the real thing starts.