Andrew Bogut’s latest injury reminded me of the time he talked smack about Luc Longley before getting drafted in 2005:
“I’ve had a better collegiate career than anyone else from Australia that came over here,” he said. “I’m not as slow as Luc Longley, I’m more athletic, I can shoot better, I’m more competitive. So I think it’s not even fair to bring that name up.”
“The whole ‘big, great white stiff’ thing comes up every now and then,” he said. “That’s just the thing in America. The big white guy isn’t supposed to be as good as the big black guy. That’s something I can’t control and I’m just going to work hard.
“I want to show people I’m athletic and I can jump.”
Of course, history will show that Bogut has been every bit as athletic as Longley, never an all-star (like Longley), perpetually injured (like Longley) and lucky enough to ride the prevailing league MVP to a championship as a role player (like Longley).
To be fair, Bogut suffered a freak elbow injury earlier in his career and has never been the same since. It’s also fair to say that that Bogut is a better player than Longley was. During his five seasons with Chicago, Longley’s PER was 13.0 (11.8 career PER), while Bogut’s four seasons with Golden State have yielded a PER of 15.9 (16.7 career PER so far – set to decline as he ages). Bogut is also a better defender, albeit Longley was hardly chopped liver in this respect.
That being said, I think we all expected more than that from a smack talking no. 1 overall draft pick.
As for Longley’s response at the time?
“I’m disappointed for him that he’s made such a clumsy start,” Longley said. “He’s inexperienced and he got caught out. I’d like to see him do well and if he’s as good as he says he is – and I’m expecting genius – he should make it, but the signs aren’t good so far.“