Andrew Bogut Q&A with Milwaukee Media

Bogut was busy with the media in New York on draft day.
On his road leading up to being selected with the number one pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Andrew Bogut had to answer his fair share of media questions. To cap the journey off, he finished his draft day with a Q&A session with members of the Milwaukee media. Reporters asked questions from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee and Bogut answered their inquiries from New York.

On what it was like when his name was called…
It was unbelievable. I’m still pinching myself to see if it’s real. I’m so happy to be a Buck. I wanted to go to Milwaukee because it’s such a great city. I love the people there. Everybody works their butts off to get where they are in Milwaukee. I can’t wait to get there.

On what kind of a game he plans on bringing to the Bucks…
I’m all about winning. I know you guys like winning out there and that’s what I’m all about. I just want to come in there and work hard, do whatever coach says and make my teammates better. If we’re winning basketball games, I’ll be happy. I don’t want to win rookie of the year or individual awards, I just want to win basketball games for the Milwaukee Bucks.

On if he’s thought about developing the sky-hook into his arsenal (like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) …
Definitely. If I had that, it would definitely help me out. He’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game. I hope to follow his footsteps but it’s going to be tough.

On the fact that he can use both his left and right hand when shooting …
Definitely. I pride myself on that. Growing up as a kid I really wanted to have my left hand be as good as my right. It’s really helped me. Being ambidextrous helps you at an unbelievable level.

On whether or not he’ll have an immediate impact with the Bucks …
Either way, I’m happy with whatever coach wants me to do. I want to come in and definitely play. I’m not going to lie to you guys. But if coach thinks Danny G is playing well, I’ll definitely respect that and back him up. But either way I’m going to work hard in practice and make the players around me better.

On his thoughts regarding the Bucks trade for Jiri Welsch …
A very tall shooter which will definitely help us. He played well with Dallas and Boston. He can shoot the (heck) out of the rock, so that’s definitely going to help me.

On what Bucks fans can expect to see from him in the post …
I really work hard. I’m gonna be competitive. I’m going to be fiery and get the crowd into the game. And I hope we win some basketball games.

On what he meant when he said he would be “proud to be in Milwaukee” …
Like I said, the people in Milwaukee, no matter what they do everything very, very hard. And that’s exactly like I am. When I do something, I go full steam. I really respect a city that prides themselves on hard work.

On whether or not he has a relationship with Alex Smith …
Not really. Basically, we know who we are because of being athletes at the school. We hung out with different crowds. I liked to lay low, and I think he liked to lay low, too, but we didn’t have the same crowds. We would say “hi” when we saw each other, but we didn’t really talk much.

On what he would like to accomplish in his first year with the Bucks and during his NBA career …
I’d like to get the Bucks back into a playoff run. I think they deserve to be there. They struggled last year but they still have the core pieces of a great team to build around. Obviously, in the future, a championship in Milwaukee would be awesome.

On whether or not he sees himself as a leader …
I was taught to be a leader in a way, at all different levels, and college. I’m definitely a born leader. I think Michael Redd is definitely the leader on this team, especially if we resign him. There’s no better person to learn from than Michael Redd.

On his international experience and how that helped his confidence …
Playing with the Tim Duncan’s of the world and other very good players, there’s so much more you have to respect about how strong those guys are and to know that, hey, those guys are human, too, just like me. They bleed just like me. I play hard, you know, I can play physical.

On what has to happen to get the Bucks back into the playoffs …
I think what happened last year was one of those rare occurrences where a great team off the court just struggled to find their niche. I think that this year, I have total faith in Larry Harris, one of the best GM’s in the league. We’ll get a great coach and we’ll keep working hard. Hard work and be patient. If we lose our first couple games, we’ll just keep playing basketball. Mo Williams, T.J. (Ford), Desmond (Mason), Danny (Gadzuric), Joe (Smith), Zaza (Pachulia), those are all guys that work hard. To get back to the playoffs, if we stick together as a team, we’ll be fine.

On why he picked the #6 for his NBA jersey …
That was a jersey thrown to me as a kid. I was the last guy to show up basically and they threw me #6. That was the first jersey I wore competitively playing an all-around game of basketball. So I thought, “Why not go back to my roots?” I actually have tried that jersey on an international level. I wore it in the Olympics, too. So I think I really would have liked #4, but there’s no way I’m taking that from Sidney Moncrief. #6 works for me.

On what it would be like to play with Toni Kukoc …
Awesome. I think he’ll be a role model for me because he knows what I’ve gone through as an international player. Obviously, I speak a little bit of the language and we have some other similarities. I didn’t grow up in Croatia, but I grew up in a Croatian family. So I know where he’s coming from, too. Just to be able to get a chance to be on the same court at the same time with him would be something I want to take a photo of and have framed forever.

On whether or not he’ll have a role in keeping Redd in Milwaukee …
Definitely. I’ll do anything it takes to try and get him back. I think he’s one of the best shooters in the league. If I have anything to say, it’s that I’ll get him open. If he needs more shots, I’m going to get them to him. He’s the leader of the Milwaukee Bucks and hopefully he can stay in a Bucks jersey.

On what the Draft has been like for him …
A lot of media and a lot of getting to places quickly. So, it’s been a lot. It’s a dream come true to be number one and it’s something that I’ll never forget in my life. I’ll mark the date down on my calendar forever and crack open a can of beer every year to celebrate.

On what his ideal playing weight would be …
There’s always room for muscle. You can always add muscle and not too much weight. Weight wise, 260 or 265 would be a perfect weight, because you lose about 10 pounds every season. So I think gaining another five pounds would really do me good.

On playing against big men in the NBA and whether or not he’ll be able to hang with them …
I definitely expect to hang with them. If I struggle against those guys, I’ll learn from it. That’s the bottom line. The next time I play them I won’t make the same mistakes. There’s no excuse. If I come in scared, I’m going to get my butt kicked and I know that. I’ve got to be confident, but not over-confident. I’ve got to respect those guys. They’ve made the league what it is today.