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Big day looms for Aussies in NBA

Posted by on 09/08/2019

Andrew Bogut couldn’t resist a dig but there’s no doubting how glad his Golden State Warriors are that Klay Thompson is set to play game one of the NBA Finals.


All Star guard Thompson, who forms a lethal shooting combination with team-mate Stephen Curry, has been monitored for concussion since being kneed in the head in last week’s Western Conference Finals series-clinching victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

He only returned to training on Monday but was confident he was over the concussion and would be passed fit by doctors.

“I expect to be,” Thompson, when asked if he will be cleared to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I’m well on my way there.”

Warriors’ Australian centre Andrew Bogut joked that he wasn’t sure if the notoriously laid-back Thompson was concussed or not.

“Hard to tell,” Bogut said.

“Pre and post concussion symptoms, he’s the same.”

Bogut has been full of one-liners in his chats with reporters in the lead-up to game one.

Tip-off is 11am AEST Friday and, with fellow Victorian Matthew Dellavedova suiting up for the Cavaliers, Bogut suggested Australia should mark the occasion.

“It should be a public holiday,” he said.

Two other Australians, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes, helped the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA Championship in 2014, but this year will be the first time two Australians face each other in the finals.

Bogut was in Melbourne last year during the Finals series after suffering a cracked rib and the undermanned Warriors bowed out early from the playoffs.

He said there was so much interest in the Spurs’ NBA Championship run that waiters in Melbourne restaurants would go AWOL to watch the game “out the back” on TV instead of bringing him food for his 213cm body.

“Everywhere you went to eat for lunch everything was slow because everyone was glued to the TV screen and everyone was talking about the NBA which was really cool,” he said.

“Hopefully that happens again.”

Bogut expects there will be nerves among both teams.

“Obviously the first quarter of game one there’s probably going to be some sprayed shots and nerves there because it’s human nature,” he said.

“Not just the whole country, but the whole world will be watching.”

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