Andrew Bogut: Trash-talking and animosity in the NBA Playoffs

Andrew Bogut
Columnist

Andrew Bogut writes exclusively for Yahoo Sport Australia about the animosity throughout the NBA Playoffs, Joel Embiid’s cheeky comments about the Warriors, and why he’s definitely coming back to the Sydney Kings.

The clashes we’ve seen throughout the first round between Kevin Durant and Patrick Beverley, as well as Ben Simmons and Jared Dudley, is just the NBA Playoffs and it’s normal – happens every year.

Whenever you play a team two games in a row – let alone seven – there’s going to be some animosity and shit-talking.

Whatever series it is there’s going to be those moments but that’s what playoff basketball is all about and that’s what the fans pay to see.

That’s part of the reason why it’s so hard to get to the Playoffs, let alone win a series, because it’s so physically demanding and it does get pretty helter-skelter with players.

Kevin Durant clashes with Patrick Beverley in Game 1. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Embiid’s comments

Joel Embiid saying the 76ers don’t want to do what we did in the 2016 Finals is just Joel being Joel – he’s a bit of a larrikin.

But they have to get to a Finals series first before they can even think about doing that.

It’s been a funny talking point for a lot of people in the league.

But we haven’t taken any notice of it and it’s not something that’s been mentioned in the locker room.


How we bounced back to take 3-1 lead

After our loss in Game 2, we didn’t really have a choice but to come out with the right mindset in Game 3, which was a very professional performance from us.

Game 4 was a little bit harder because they were fighting for their lives, knowing that they could salvage the series and make it 2-2.

We had control of the game until they came back in the third quarter and took the lead for a few minutes.

But once we steadied the ship we didn’t look back. It was a really good test for us today and to their credit they’ve played us really tough.

Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala celebrate after Game 4. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Now that I’m starting I think I’m playing pretty well individually.

I’ve stepped right into the starting role and we’ve won both games, so that’s the most important thing.

I wouldn’t say it’s been my goal to step up with DeMarcus Cousins out, it’s just the reality of the situation.

We’re obviously short-handed and missing our starting big man so I just have to go in and make an impact.

Sometimes it won’t show up on the stat sheet and sometimes it will.

I’m just focusing on getting teammates open with screens and getting a few offensive possessions with rebounds and finishing the opportunities that I get.

Andrew Bogut fights for the ball against Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Why I’m definitely returning to Sydney

It doesn’t really sit well with me when people say I need to prove that I can still play in the NBA. I know I can.

Coming back to the NBL was great for myself, my body and my family.

I just don’t really want to get involved in the gruelling 82-game NBA season from September until June any more.

I feel like I need to be at home more in the next few years, especially with two young kids.

Coming to the NBA for a few months is very doable with the kids, but a full 10-month season isn’t something that I want to do.

Andrew Bogut in action for the Sydney Kings. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

I know I can still play in the league but it’s not something I’m looking to do long term.

I’m very happy in Sydney and I think we’re doing something pretty special there.

Looking ahead to Game 5

They say elimination games are the hardest games to win because teams are fighting for their lives.

So we have to make sure we take care of business at home.

We have tomorrow off so most of the guys will spend some time with their families and look after their bodies.

We’ll have a short practice on Tuesday and hopefully wrap it up on Wednesday.

Andrew Bogut writes exclusively for Yahoo Sport Australia in a series of weekly insights into the NBA Playoffs.