Bogut slam dunks pol­lies

Bas­ket­ball su­per­star re­veals he could take a shot at Canberra

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Opinion - JONATHON MORAN

BAS­KET­BALL su­per­star An­drew Bogut has re­vealed he could take a shot at pol­i­tics on the re­bound from the sport that made him an in­ter­na­tional heavy­weight.

But first, the for­mer NBA star — who has just re­turned to Aus­tralia — has to see out his ca­reer with the Syd­ney Kings and wel­come his first child into the world.

And then there’s the ques­tion of whether his straight­shoot­ing style would pros­per on the Aus­tralian po­lit­i­cal scene. “Never say never (but) I don’t think I’d last very long, to be hon­est. Peo­ple think that I am one way or the other (po­lit­i­cally),” said Bogut, 33, who is no stranger to con­tro­versy on and off the court.

He told The Daily Tele­graph he had made mis­takes in the past but “it comes down to be­ing my­self”.

“If I ask your opin­ion on some­thing, I’d rather know where you stand rather than you telling me some­thing you think I would want to hear,” he said. “I would rather al­ways hear the hard truth and some­times it is good and some­times it is bad.”

But Bogut is keen to see ac­count­abil­ity brought back to pol­i­tics and be­lieves the score­board doesn’t lie.

“I think a lot of our politi­cians, what­ever side that they are on, they have a lot to an­swer for,” he said.

“Our sys­tem here is a lit­tle flawed, that peo­ple can stay in power when they prom­ise some­thing and they don’t de­liver it, they should be held ac­count­able just like any other job. If they can’t be held ac­count­able, what is the point in vot­ing for them?” Sports stars have a che­quered history in tran­si­tion­ing to pol­i­tics — for­mer league great Mal Meninga suc­cumbed to the three-sec­ond rule when he quit at the start of the ra­dio in­ter­view in which he was due to an­nounce his can­di­dacy. His Canberra Raiders team­mate Glenn Lazarus made it to the Se­nate but lasted only a term as the Palmer United Party im­ploded.

Bogut is one of Aus­tralia’s great­est sports ex­ports af­ter spend­ing a decade at the pin­na­cle of the NBA, win­ning a cham­pi­onship with the Golden State War­riors. His pop­u­lar­ity was on show yes­ter­day when fans lined up for hours for his ap­pear­ance at Gen­eral Pants’ Par­ra­matta store. But he is known as much for his con­tro­ver­sial Twit­ter com­men­tary as his sport­ing abil­ity.

He has an on­go­ing feud with fe­male bas­ket­baller Liz Cam­bage, which started when they clashed over the Black Lives Mat­ter is­sue.

He also found him­self in hot water af­ter wad­ing into the Amer­ica’s de­bunked piz­za­gate con­spir­acy the­ory dur­ing the 2016 Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Bogut said he had no hard feel­ings to­wards Cam­bage. “The Liz Cam­bage thing was a big feud ac­cord­ing to the me­dia. “To me it was sit­ting on my phone laugh­ing my arse off while I was send­ing out tweets. “The whole thing was overblown,” he added.

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