Bogut hoses down Kings ‘greatest-ever’ hype
THE new-look Sydney Kings have been hailed the best NBL team in history but marquee man Andrew Bogut has called for the hype to be calmed.
Bogut joined representatives from the other seven clubs in Sydney on Monday to officially unveil the new team jerseys created by apparel brand First Ever.
The First Ever range will produce basketball-related clothing and supply uniforms to both grassroots clubs and elite NBL teams across the country.
Bogut spoke positively about the new jerseys but he was equally passionate about hosing down pre-season suggestions the star-studded Kings are the greatest team in NBL history.
"Let me just say we are not the best ever or anything because we haven't played a game yet," Bogut said frankly.
"We need to pump the brakes and get the runs on the board first. These guys (Melbourne United) are the champs."
Thankfully, basketball fans won't have to wait long to see the Kings take on defending champions Melbourne.
The two archrivals play each other in back-to-back pre-season trials in Bendigo on Thursday and the State Basketball Centre in Melbourne on Saturday.
Bogut can't wait for the Kings to test themselves against United after beating three US college teams so far this pre-season.
"It will be a slog and they will be competitive games," he said about the two clashes against Melbourne.
"Dean (Vickerman) knows us very well having worked under Andrew Gaze at the Kings.
"Also, what we are trying to achieve is similar to what Melbourne has done with their consistency and building a winning program.
"We are trying to get to that same level."
First Ever CEO Justin Kestleman believes his new-look apparel can help create greater interest in basketball.
"The basketball jersey is such an integral part of the game and it has really evolved over the years," Kestleman said.
"We want NBL fans to feel the same passion and connection to the jersey as fans do in the NBA and we've drawn inspiration from the athletes and the fans with these designs.
"The launch of the Official NBL Store presented by First Ever celebrates the intersection of athletic and street style during an exciting time for Australian basketball."
NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said First Ever would help build the connection between grassroots and elite levels of basketball in Australia.
All First Ever products can be purchased at the first Official NBL Store, a one-stop location for the new NBL fan jerseys, shorts and streetwear range.
"This is a win for the NBL but it's also a win for the fans and all families and clubs who play the game and support basketball in Australia," Loeliger said.
"There's never been a more exciting time to be a part of Australian basketball. We have a strong connection to the NBA but importantly we have a world-class league in the NBL which is flourishing on the back of record attendances and renewed interest.
"The upcoming season promises to be the biggest and the best yet and we can't wait for it to start."
The 2018-19 Hungry Jack's NBL Season tips off on October 11 while the Kings open their campaign against Adelaide at Qudos Bank Arena on October 13.
Get 3 months free Sport HD + Entertainment on a 12 month plan and watch every game of the NBL and catch live coverage of the WNBL on FOX SPORTS. T&Cs apply. SIGN UP NOW >