OAKLAND –- Andrew Bogut saw, somewhere on the horizon, the end of his NBA days. He wondered if he had two more years. Or three. Or four.
Career time is getting shorter for the 30-year-old Warriors center. And having undergone multiple surgeries that have taken a toll on his 7-foot body, Bogut, seeking a rebirth, bowed to the gods of diet and nutrition.
Those gods have, based on training camp results, been good to the Aussie.
“Bogut’s been amazing so far,” interim coach Luke Walton said, recalling a sequence during Friday’s scrimmage when the big man dived into the passing lane for a steal before leading the fast break.
On Saturday, as the Warriors concluded camp, Bogut again turned heads.
“He went three-quarters of the court, coast-to-coast, to finish with a floater,” Steph Curry said.
The Warriors, it appears, have a brand new Bogut. Players and coaches are noticing. Bogut says he lost about 22 pounds, resulting in improved agility and stamina.
Most of the credit, according to Bogut, should go to Is Sugar the New Fat?, a documentary he watched on Australian TV in August. Bogut was stunned to discover how the low-fat revolution in the '80s and '90s resulted in food manufacturers replacing fat with sugar.
“I changed my diet a little bit,” he said. “It’s really worked wonders for me.
“I watched that documentary,” Bogut added. “It’s unbelievable, man. (Sugar) is in absolutely everything. I have a couple friends that are label readers. I used to give them so much (crap), telling them, ‘Man, just eat it. Stop reading the label.’ And now I’m one of those guys.”
Fat is fine, but gone are the processed sugars, also known as bad carbs. Bogut’s physique is flatter, his face more angled. His weight, previously around 275, has dropped into the low 250s.
“He obviously worked harder this summer than I did,” Walton joked. “We’re thrilled with what we’ve seen from him.”
What the Warriors are seeing is a guy who might be less of a misfit when they go small. Someone who can better maintain a fast pace while also producing offense.
Bogut wants to be more than a big man who drops anchor in the paint and rarely gets a sniff of the ball.
“I want to get a couple post moves, roll to the glass strong and finish,” Bogut said. “It takes a lot of pressure off us, then we can get a decent shot from the perimeter.”
Curry already visualizes the team’s potential with a new-and-improved big man.
“He does some stuff that you don’t expect from a guy that size,” Curry said. “His skill level is so high. When he’s able to move and be agile . . . it’s fun to watch.”
Enlightened and energized, Bogut seems to feel every word as he preaches his new gospel. He has placed his physical faith in healthier eating habits.
And, yet, he knows there is only one way to prove his new game can stick.
“Everybody looks amazing in the preseason,” Bogut said. “I’ve got to carry it over into the games and into the regular season.”