Andrew Bogut is putting his money where his mouth is to try and save basketball in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA is reporting that the Bucks center and former No. 1 overall draft pick is sponsoring one of the remaining six home games for the Sydney Spirit as they struggle to make it to the end of the season.
The cost? About $31,000, which might be chump change to a player who just signed a big bucks, multiyear deal in the offseason, but is going to apparently go a long way to help the players get their paychecks - which they’ve already agreed to cut by more than 50 percent in order to make it to the end of the season.
The Spirit are the new name of the former West Sydney Razorbacks, which changed their name to try and win over fans of the Sydney Kings, the city’s other professional basketball team which folded earlier this year. Confused? Well, apparently so are basketball fans in Sydney, as they’ve stayed away in droves from the Spirit.
For his part, Bogut thinks the fans need to stop acting like such wusses about it and start acting more, well, Australian:
On his own website Bogut pleaded for Sydney to get behind the Spirit. “I do understand the bitterness some fans would have with the Kings going under and the Razorbacks changing names to appeal to all fans in Sydney,” Bogut wrote.
“All I can say is build a bridge and get over it. If you want a basketball team in Sydney there is no excuse not to be at the remaining games left to be played in Sydney.”
Perfect. Bogut also encouraged Australians that there is “no excuse” not to write the Hollywood movie studios and demand another “Crocodile Dundee” movie. Or at the very least a “Young Einstein” sequel.
And in case you are wondering, professional basketball in Australia is almost exactly like the NBA. Except that instead of a ball, they use a live koala. And the games are “produced” by Baz Luhrman, with the players taking part in a huge production number right before halftime set to a 40s swing version of a Nine Inch Nails song.