Does Australia want Bogut enough for the government to help?
Andrew Bogut is a big deal in Australia. They have other players in the NBA — hello Patty Mills — but Bogut is a defensive stalwart, the former college player of the year at Utah who, if he gets his shooting touch back, is a borderline All-Star.
Plenty of teams in the Australian league (the NBL) want him to play for them if the lockout drags on, and Bogut tweeted he is in talks with several teams.
But one team, the Perth Wildcats — five-time league champions, essentially the Celtics/Lakers of Australia — has a plan to pick up the massive insurance bill for Bogut (roughly $500,000 every three months) to insure the remaining $39 million on his Milwaukee Bucks contract.Well, the Wildcats don’t actually want to pick it up themselves, as a team executive told The West Australian (via Hoopshype).
If negotiations progress, the Wildcats would seek financial support from the government and corporate sectors. (Team managing director Nick) Marvin said the benefits of Bogut playing in Perth would be felt not just by the Wildcats, but by the wider WA community….
“For Andrew Bogut to play for us, and if that is the only hurdle we have to cross, I would hope that government and corporate Western Australia would support us and make it work,” Marvin said.
Corporations and sponsors? Maybe. The government? In this country it’s hard to get public money to pay for an arena (with good reason) — can you imagine the reaction if Pat Riley went to the governor of Florida to ask for money to pay LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?
But if Marvin can sell this to them, well, he is the new Blake.