Posted: 16 June, 2016
Andrew Bogut has been ruled out of the NBA Finals and is in danger of not being able to play for Australia at the Rio Olympics due to a knee injury.
Speaking exclusively to Triple M, Australian Olympic bronze medallist Liz Cambage said she feels for Bogut.
“It’s sad to see an athlete go down, no matter who they are and what spot they’re playing. I think the boys haven’t had Andrew for a few years now… they should be fine. We’ve got such a strong team here in Australia," Cambage said.
“We just lost Lauren to retirement so it’s a part of sport. Last Olympics we didn’t have Penny Taylor and we’re so lucky to have her back now so every year it changes.”
“You fill in holes and you make do with what you have. We’re lucky we have such a strong basketball culture with lots of good players to back up.”
“I went down a week before world champs two years ago and the girls still got bronze medal - injuries happen to the best of us.”
Andrew Bogut's knee injury is a problem for the Golden State Warriors, but it is potentially an Olympic medal vanquishing catastrophe for the Australian men's basketball team.
The Warriors announced on Wednesday that their Melbourne-born centre would need "six to eight weeks" to recover from the bone bruises suffered in a fall in Monday's NBA Finals game five against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If the timeframe is accurate, Bogut will be on the borderline of being fit to lead the Boomers in Rio.
The Olympics start on August 5 - seven weeks away.
"I was worried it would be worse," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters.
"Maybe an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or something.
"It's bad news for our team.
"Boges has made an impact for us in this series."
Bogut fell awkwardly over Cavaliers guard JR Smith and suffered bone bruises to the proximal tibia and distal femur.
If the Warriors defeat the Cavaliers in game six in Cleveland on Thursday (Friday 11am AEST) they will clinch back-to-back NBA titles, but if they lose the championship decider will be game seven in Oakland on Sunday.
The Warriors will welcome back dynamic power forward Draymond Green, who served a one game suspension for multiple flagrant fouls in the playoffs.
Bogut is the Warriors' starting centre, but has only been averaging 16.6 minutes per game.
It will be the Warriors' small, mobile "Death Lineup" of Green at centre, forward Harrison Barnes and guards Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala who Kerr will largely be relying on in game six.
Cavaliers' LeBron James agreed.
"It doesn't," James, when asked if Bogut's absence would impact the Cavaliers' game plan.
"We are going to continue to attack and continue to not turn the ball over and stop Steph and Klay from having those barrages from the perimeter."
Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis has said he will give Bogut every opportunity to make the team.
Few other nations can boast a bona fide NBA champion starting centre on their squads and Bogut, who skipped the 2012 Olympics to recover from injuries, was focused on leading the Boomers to their first medal.
With Bogut as a defensive anchor and skilled passer, Australia's other NBA players Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova and Joe Ingles will have more opportunities to score.
The Cavaliers' Australian-born All-Star Kyrie Irving, who will likely play for Team USA in Rio, is aware of Bogut's influence on a game.
"Rim protection is big with Andrew," Irving said.
"We understand that."