The bad news is it appears that Bogut had to press the issue for this change in plans to occur, partly because the Warriors — as written here on Monday — represented Bogut’s surgery as a simple ankle arthroscopy. And when it comes to fudging the details on injuries suffered by their players, this is not an isolated incident.
Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle tells the story of Bogut and Warriors GM Bob Myers walking together to face the media, to come clean in a sense about the surgery on Wednesday. While Myers downplayed the misinformation campaign, Bogut sounded like a man who was tired of lying to the public.
“We don’t want to fool anybody, anymore,” Bogut said. “We don’t want to keep creating a little bit of excitement of, ‘Hey, Andrew might be playing Saturday. It might be Monday. He’s back.’
“It’s enough. It takes a toll on me personally and on the organization. … It got to the point that we spoke this morning and I said, ‘Let’s make it an indefinite leave until I’m ready.’ There’s no point in throwing numbers out there.”
Bogut said “not right now” when asked if this injury/surgery could cost him the entire 2012-13 season, but the fact that he even talked about it means it very well might turn out that way. It’s such a ridiculous turn of events to go from Oh, maybe he’ll play on Saturday to Bogut saying “We’ve got five months left, six if we make the playoffs. I don’t think it’s going to be another six months.” But forcing a player to lie, in an effort to sell the Monta Ellis/Ekpe Udoh trade and sell season tickets, effectively kills all credibility owned by a franchise that wasn’t exactly blessed in that department to begin with.
“On any injury, I don’t think there’s any attempt at deception or omission,” Myers said Wednesday. “We convey it how we think it’s appropriate. As long as we’re on the same page with the athlete per the rules, our focus is on the recovery time. … I’d like to think we are transparent and always will be.”
And yet Bogut said Wednesday that the team had asked him not to talk about the microfracture surgery, and Myers wasn’t willing to admit that the microfracture procedure set Bogut back.
Except they weren’t always transparent, according to Simmons.
It’s not the first time the team has withheld information on the extent of injuries. Most recently, the team announced that Brandon Rush was lost for the season because of an anterior cruciate ligament tear Nov. 2. When asked Nov. 21 why he hadn’t had surgery, Rush said he had to wait until his medial collateral ligament tear healed. There had been no previous mention of an MCL tear.
With Rush out for the rest of the season and not as important as Bogut, this example of the Warriors’ cloudy brand of transparency may not be an immediate concern. But since Rush’s deal lists 2013-14 is a player option (one he’ll surely exercise), were the Warriors going to push Rush to accelerate his recovery the same way they have with Bogut? Were they going to tell the public not to worry, that Rush was recovering from a standard ACL tear and would be back by Opening Night 2013 without any problems? These are fair questions to ask considering how the Warriors mishandled Bogut’s rehab plan and pressured him to keep quiet.
The Warriors misjudged the climate when they let Lacob speak to the crowd on Chris Mullin Night, when the sting of trading Ellis and Udoh (a cult favorite for his excellent defense and plus/minus supremacy) was still fresh among the Oracle Arena patrons; they probably misjudged the severity of Bogut’s ankle condition, otherwise they probably would’ve dealt Ellis for another player; they definitely misjudged Bogut’s personality, since there’s no way they thought they were getting a player so headstrong that he would dare pull the curtain back on the Warriors’ ruse.
Simmons wrote that Bogut and his agent agreed with the Warriors’ statement on April 28, the one which said he underwent a regular ankle arthroscopy. However, after the recovery process stalled Bogut decided to take a different tact in order to keep himself from looking like a malingerer who’d rather rest than rebound. In doing so, the Warriors are left to figure out how to gain the public’s trust — and as of right now there is zero reason to believe any injury updates coming from team headquarters.