I got my question to Andrew Bogut answered! Here’s the original text I sent, which Andrew edited for the podcast.
Hi Andrew (and Mike), I was a big fan of yours in college, and was so excited when the Warriors got you. I liked Monta, but I knew the decision was right at the time. That’s not to brag, I’ve been wrong about plenty of things over the years.
Going through your freak injuries, I remember (from media coverage) that these affected your confidence both at the line and in offensive aggression even as you got healthy with the Warriors.
At the same time, I’m sure you were still working on those parts of your game. There have been so many players (Andris Biedrins in the past for the Warriors, Kelly Oubre right now) affected by lack of confidence. How did the coaches try to help you here, if at all, and how did you approach it?
If you could place yourself mentally today into yourself from 2012, would you be better equipped to overcome these issues?
I’m curious, when it’s a long term, multi-seasonal issue, and not really physical, why can’t players get this confidence back?
This is my go to podcast for basketball right now, from former Warrior Andrew Bogut and former Head of Player Development at the Mavericks, Mike Procopio.
It’s a new podcast with three regular episodes covering the NBA, but he’s already talked about the power of agents, the lost mentality of role players, and the real reason behind the spread of COVID-19 in the NBA – he talked about this right before any other media coverage mentioned it.
He’s providing insight I’ve never heard before in my many years reading deeply about the NBA. Plus, I’ve always loved Bogut since his college days at Utah and even have his jerseys from the Warriors (gifted to Dad) and Sydney Kings!
The best pick-and-roll big in the draft. An absolute monster athlete in terms of explosiveness. Great speed for his size, and it’s really tough for defenders to stay attached to him in exchanges. Can beat taggers to the spot on the back side. A powerful leaper who is an elite dunker and finisher at the rim, having made 76.7 percent of all shots at the rim in non-post-ups, according to Synergy. Also, Toppin is terrific out in transition, creating numerous opportunities every game with his speed and finishing. He’s not just a pick-and-dive guy, though. He’s very fluid and can really shoot it off the catch, particularly out of pick-and-pops. Made his catch-and-shoot attempts at a 58.1 effective field goal percentage, and he has touch and a clean release on the ball that should translate into continued improvement. The questions come on defense, where Toppin is particularly bad in space right now and might be a bit stuck between the 4 and the 5 positions at the NBA level.
Here’s what I see:
Amare Stoudemire. Stephen Curry = Steve Nash. Detonate.
Offensively, he not only has the skills, but he dominated the college level. Pick and roll, passing, finishing, shooting – I have not heard any negative aspects of his offensive game. Does not need to handle the ball to impact the game – key for the Warriors.
Ready to contribute in the NBA to a good team – the Warriors need explosive, skilled athletic ability.
Yes, he’s a lot older. He should be college sophomore age but he’s closer to grad student age.
Not a good defender. May not have ideal size, length, agility. What I pay attention to is effort, however. Stephen Curry is probably a league average defender. But he puts effort in to maximize his abilities. I have not seen anything to suggest Toppin is an unwilling defender.
Why Toppin and not…anyone else? Yes, there are plenty of raw, high talent, younger candidates out there – let’s talk about Wiseman, Edwards, Ball. Not just raw in terms of potential, but actual achievement at their former levels. I don’t believe any of them can contribute to a playoff team next year because they can be all be abused defensively. As much reports tout Wiseman’s defensive potential, he’s not considered a NBA-ready defender right now. Yes, Toppin is 2-3 years older than the current tier 1 prospects in this draft, but do we really think the others will be better than he is now by year 3? My guess, only one of the three reaches that mark and I have no idea which one.
Looking back historically, Toppin reminds me of Derrick Williams, 2011’s #2 pick. Another explosive, perhaps undersized, big who also shot well from 3 (56%) in college. I still don’t know why Williams did not pan out. Will Toppin’s shot from the college 3 work in the NBA? Will his release time (see SprawlBall) allow him to get that shot off consistently?
As for the Warriors actual interest in Toppin? From NBC Sports:
“The interview call went very well. They have a great organization over there at Golden State. I believe they like me a lot,” Toppin told reporters Wednesday over Zoom.
But Toppin hasn’t spoken with the Warriors since his interview and hasn’t worked out for Golden State. That has to be a bit concerning.
I think this is the perfect smokescreen for pulling off a trade.
I’ve seen other articles or posts about Allen Iverson post-retirement and what stands out to me is how humble he is. He doesn’t hate on people, try to compare himself, complain. I have an original authentic Champion jersey from his rookie year, and this perspective makes sure I’m never tempted to sell it.
Introducing the TAI CHI MIXTAPE, a limited edition remix on one of the most iconic basketball shoes to date, the AND1 Tai Chi.
And I’ve got them. You can’t read my past blog posts on my extensive fan love anymore but I was a huge And1 fan – I had jerseys, mixtapes, mixtape poster, mixtape tours, books, etc. I tried to intern for them over a decade ago, writing a personal letter to Seth Berger. I even have an autographed card from the team’s 2005 E3 appearance to promote their And1 Streetball game. It sits framed in my apartment and has traveled the world with me. It’s been great to see them getting back to their streetball and community roots over the last few years – you can also find their gear at affordable prices in places like Walmart.
The shoes look great in person. The only problem is if I can bear to wear them and get them dirty…