Sydney Kings coach Ian Robilliard was convinced he would wake up on
Friday to the news his team had landed NBA superstar Andrew Bogut.
negotiations headed to their final stage the Kings, Bogut's management
and the Milwaukee Bucks centre himself believed the announcement was
merely a formality.
Instead the news Robilliard got as he
gathered his team in Melbourne to prepare for their NBL season opener
with the Tigers and their NBA star Patty Mills was that the deal had
fallen through at the 11th hour.
"I thought it was a done deal
and I was actually advised before I jumped on a plane to Melbourne (on
Thursday) that it was only one or two words on the insurance policy that
had to change," Robilliard told AAP.
"That was the mail that I was told … It was that close.
I guess when you're insuring $40 million on a temporary and permanent
disability policy there's one or two words that can significantly change
the focus of an insurance policy."
Ultimately Bogut's $40
million deal with the Bucks proved too big a hurdle to overcome, with
Bogut's management unable to secure a full guarantee for the deal should
the 26-year-old suffer an injury while playing for the Kings.
manager, Bruce Kaider, explained that the sticking point had nothing to
do with any lingering complaints relating to his horrific injuries
suffered while attempting a dunk against Toronto in April, 2010.
"No, It had nothing to do with any existing injuries at all," Kaider told AAP.
was more around should he get injured playing for the Kings and goes
back to Milwaukee, and they say they're going to terminate his contract
because he can't pass a medical.
"What would happen from there and how the insurance policy would be treated in that situation.
"We wanted full guarantee and in the end they weren't prepared to give the full guarantee.
the start of this process we wanted to make sure we left no stone
unturned and I think we can all look each other in the eye and say we
Kaider said Bogut was extremely disappointed with the
outcome and is expected to play some role in helping the Kings out this
season in some form.
"He really wanted to give something back to
the game and build it back up to where it was, he was really enthused by
that and so he is really disappointed today because that's not going to
happen," Kaider added.
"Throughout this whole process we've been
really impressed by the professionalism of the Kings, and Andrew has
certainly got a soft spot for the Sydney Kings so we'd love to have a
conversation with the NBL and see what ongoing role he may be able to
Robilliard declared the Kings were confident of making the finals, even without Bogut's involvement.
"Absolutely, no question (we can make the finals)," he said.
uncertainty that Bogut created has been handled well, but now that it's
behind us I think it will galvanise our group even more."