You’ll have to forgive me if my writing isn’t very good tonight. I’m feeling slightly under the weather, I’d put myself at 87%. I went to the doctor earlier and he told me I’d be fine, but he was all ready to dismiss me without giving me a breakdown on just how healthy he thought I was. He was all, “take this prescription and you should be okay in a day or two.” And I was all, “whoa Doc, you’re not letting me go without giving me a percentage that signifies where I’m at right now, are you? What will I tell my friends and family when they ask how I’m feeling? Should I just say, ‘moderate or not the best?’ If I can’t attach a percentage to my health, all will be lost!”
The doctor walked away. With good reason.
Okay, so that didn’t really happen, but hopefully you see where I’m going with this. Andrew Bogut saying he may not be 100% this year, simply isn’t that big of a deal. We saw his injury, it was gross and it’s going to take a long time for it to heal completely. That doesn’t mean Bogut can’t be an effective player.
Bogut was asked for a percentage that represented his health on media day. His response wasn’t all that different than the one he recently gave to the Journal-Sentinel.
“I’m about a 90% right now,” he said. “It depends on what you classify as 100%. In an NBA season, no one is at 100% anyway, so right now the elbow is getting pretty close to being there, but there’s still some more degrees I’d like to get before the first game.”
He was asked if 100% would mean the time when he never had to think about it anymore and Bogut seemed to think that seemed about right, but didn’t shy away from saying that would be awhile.
“They said it’d take six to twelve months,” he said. “That’ll take a little while. I’ll be playing through that obviously.”
There isn’t a Bucks fan on the planet that wouldn’t love to see Andrew Bogut proclaiming himself 100%, but just because he’s honest about not being totally healthy, doesn’t mean the season is lost. Just think back to last year. Remember the nagging back issues that troubled Bogut two seasons ago? Everyone worried those would be a big problem again last season, especially in the final month or two leading up to the Bucks season opener. I found this in a JSOnline blog post from the Bucks golf outing September 21, 2009.
Progress is being made yet Bogut, entering his fifth season, admits that he still has a ways to go before he is 100%. “It’s still frustrating that I’m not 100%. That’s the life of a professional athlete.”
And then Bogut went out and had the best season he ever had. If only we could have gotten a quote on the exact percentage he was at that day, perhaps we would better be able to judge the situation right now. He may have only been 70% at that point. He certainly sounded more pessimistic than he did on this season’s media day. If that’s the case, then an already at 85% or 90% Bogut is 15-20% ahead of where he was at this time last year. Rejoice Bucks fans!
Bogut may not be the best guy at figuring out this health percentage stuff either. He had this to say back in August:
“I’m one of those guys who will play through injury but if I’m not 100 percent for the season to start, there is no sense going into an NBA season at 85 percent because we’re playing up to May.”
So at that point, Bogut decided he’d need to be 100% by the start of the season. Now he doesn’t think that will happen for another 6-12 months. On media day he was 90% and now he might be down to 85%, but still may be 90%.
I know I’m being a little silly, but this whole thing is a little silly in itself. I don’t blame Bogut for all the different numbers that are getting bantered about and the discussion about whether or not he’ll be playing when the regular season starts. If enough people ask a guy enough times to measure something as unmeasurable as the percent his body is currently at, your bound to get a whole bunch of answers that you may not like. And then the panic sets in.
Had Bogut had played in any of the Bucks first three pre-season games, clearly this story would be a major non-story, but the uncertainty of the situation amplifies everyone’s emotions here. Instead of relying on the mysterious percentages, why don’t we all very simply look and see what Coach Scott Skiles had to say about Bogut before the Bucks very first pre-season game against Chicago.
“If we had a regular-season game tonight he would play,” said Skiles.
That’s enough for me. Pre-season is a long and winding road to nowhere. You don’t get trophies for getting guys on the court in pre-season. Milwaukee can get just as much done when they get everyone practicing as they can in exhibition games. Yes, Bogut’s going to deal with some issue this season and since they are of the arm variety, it’s possible they’ll have a more pronounced effect on his game than they did last year. That doesn’t mean he won’t be a very effective player when he gets back on the floor.
And most importantly, that doesn’t mean we need to jump to conclusions over what a few percent here or there mean.
Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter