This kind of passion goes a long way in the big games. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
This kind of passion goes a long way in the big games. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

’Beat the s**t out of them!’

ANDREW Bogut almost joined Melbourne United in the off-season, so he believes it's only fitting he gets a chance to end their championship defence.

Bogut is bursting with enthusiasm about taking on United in Thursday night's blockbuster semi-final at Hisense Arena.

The former NBA champion views United as the benchmark and a team the "little brother" Kings are trying to emulate to take their mantle.

"And the only way to do that is to get through Melbourne and beat the shit out of them," Bogut said on Wednesday..

"Obviously they are going to try and do the same thing.

"It will be a competitive series. They are the pinnacle of basketball in Melbourne.

"All the kids support United and that is great to see.

"You still see a lot of NBA jerseys, but you definitely see a lot more Melbourne United jerseys now.

"We are trying to build that in Sydney and we are kind of the little brother in the fact that is what we are trying to be."

Bogut is up for another tussle with Chris Goulding. (Mark Stewart)
Bogut is up for another tussle with Chris Goulding. (Mark Stewart)

Bogut has always been a big believer in fate. It's why he doesn't regret his decision to knock back Melbourne to sign with Sydney on a two-year deal.

In fact, he says his season with the Kings has only reinforced that he made the right choice.

"It is just funny how the world works," he said.

"As discussed, it (joining Sydney) was a decision that was made for a number of reasons. But looking back I think I made the right decision.

"The ownership group and the friends I've made at the club, with Harvey Lister, Paul Smith, Jeff Jones, Lorraine Landon and Jeff Van Groningen.

"Everyone in the front office are really good people and I've enjoyed working with them.

"That kind of settled my decision once I got to the Kings and realised they were in it for the long haul and the right reasons."

Bogut made the right choice joining Sydney. (Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
Bogut made the right choice joining Sydney. (Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Sydney faces a tough task beating United in Melbourne but Bogut says the Kings are ready to cause an upset. He believes the team's drought breaking win over United in round 17, which snapped a 10-game losing streak, is significant heading into Thursday's semi-final.

"I think just mentally," he says of finally beating Melbourne. It was kind of the hoodoo, like - shit we haven't beaten them.

"It was the same when we hadn't beaten Adelaide for so long.

"Sometimes we might not even know about it but then you blokes in the media mention it and all of a sudden it gets in guys heads.

"Guys then start thinking, 'oh we haven't won there', and it can play on you a little bit.

"So it was good to get that win out of the way now. It can't be talked about because we won the last game and we're on a one-game winning streak against United. Let's hope we continue it."

 

 

It could get rough — but Bogut’s up for that. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
It could get rough — but Bogut’s up for that. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

Bogut says the Kings can also take confidence from the fact their four games against United this season have been close.

"We were right in all of those matches, so we are not really too concerned.

"We just needed to know that we could finish off games better against Melbourne because they don't stop.

"They have got so many three-point shooters. You could have an eight-point lead, like you saw against Perth, and then bang, bang - it is a one-point game."

As a passionate supporter of the game, Bogut also can't wait to watch the Perth versus Brisbane semi-final series.

"The NBL is in a great spot with two competitive series," he said.

"I honestly believe that Brisbane can push Perth as well.

"The Wildcats have the home court advantage and I think that is going to be huge for them."

News Corp Australia


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