Bogut sold on Kings' grand NBL vision

Murray Wenzel
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NBL KINGS

Andrew Bogut's NBL deal with Sydney Kings includes an ownership share in retirement

Andrew Bogut's unique way into the NBL, as a future part-owner of a club, could be a template for other NBA players eyeing investment in the growing Australian league.

The 13-year NBA veteran sealed a two-year deal with the Sydney Kings on Tuesday described as the biggest in the league's history

Acknowledging how far the NBL has come under new owner and director Larry Kestelman, Bogut said he "wouldn't have even thought about it" four or five years ago.

But in what he described as world class negotiations, the 2015 NBA championship winner will now own at least 10 per cent and up to 50 per cent of the club once he hangs up his sneakers.

"I want some skin in the game, I want to see how viable this is and see where it's going," he said.

"If it goes as well as I think it will ... there is no reason why I won't put my own money in as well."

Bogut said he had two clubs that would have "gone deep" in this year's NBA play-offs interested in signing him, while he also attracted big-money offers to play in China.

However that shareholders clause, as well as the NBL's kind 28-game regular season and the impending birth of his second child was enough to persuade him the time was right to announce his NBA retirement.

"It wasn't easy, you never want to shut the door completely (on the NBA) but I saw how hard it was on my wife and the security was gone with one-year deals for the rest of my career," Bogut said.

"You get a phone call and get moved coast to coast (to another club) ... I didn't want that life any more."

"But the NBL's in a position to do this now."

Kestelman is open to exploring more creative deals like the one struck with the 2015 NBA Championship winner.

"I love the idea of players being involved in clubs deeper than just by playing," the businessman told AAP.

"We're open to all options and I think they have a lot to add and a lot to give back to the game past their retirement.

"I'm fully supportive of it. No deal is the same for any two players but I certainly think it's opening up an interesting conversation."

Bogut hopes his decision could set a precedent for other Australian NBA stars - there are seven currently playing in the NBA Finals - to come home and finish their careers in the NBL.

He said a couple, who he did not want to name, had already texted him and mentioned they could do the same.

Committing to the Boomers' 2016 World Cup and 2020 Olympic campaigns, Bogut said he wanted to play in the NBL while he had "something left in the tank".