From College sensation to NBA Champion, Australian big man Andrew Bogut has always been a big name in Australian sporting circles, but the news of an imminent return to the NBA with the Champion Golden State Warriors team, has captured the headlines, at a point where many believed a storied career was winding down.
Following an MVP season in the local National Basketball League, Bogut is reportedly on the verge of a return to The Bay, the scene of his Championship year in 2015.
It's a move that has surprised many, but Bogut's coach at the Kings, Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze, revealed on Melbourne radio that the move back to the NBA, had been in the pipeline for some time.
"This is something that has come as a bit of a surprise and, rightly so, got the attention of many, but this is something that he's been grappling with for a considerable amount of time.
"In the middle of the season, I sat down with him and he had a number of offers to join NBA teams. Our club has a philosophy that we're never going to stand in the way of players to go on to play in the NBA, but he was highly committed to the Sydney Kings and beyond that, just the sport here in Australia."
Gaze, who spent time during his playing career on the same San Antonio roster as Warriors coach Steve Kerr, went on to praise Bogut's desire to commit the full year to Sydney.
"It was ironclad, his commitment that he was going to see out the season which was great. Now he gets this very privileged opportunity (to play in the NBA)."
Basketball Australia acting chief executive Paul Maley also heaped praise on Bogut and his maiden season at the Kings.
"I was surprised at just how good he was all season in the NBL," Maley said. "His body has remained healthy and the way he moves and plays physically is really, really impressive.
"You look at his skillset, his experience and what he brings as a 7-footer in the NBA, [Golden State's interest] doesn't surprise me. I think he could, absolutely, lend something to a team making a run to the playoffs.
At Warriors practice on Monday, Coach Kerr was circumspect, only confirming that talks had taken place. Prospective new teammate Kevin Durant was more open.
"I'm sure he's going to add a little bit of knowledge and wisdom as he's been part of the system before. We're looking forward to having him as part of the team."
It's was Durant's arrival that ended Bogut's stint in Oakland, and led to ill-fated stints in Dallas, Cleveland and with the Lakers, and ultimately to a return to Australia.
Bogut has been a defensive powerhouse in the NBL, inspiring a previously under-achieving Kings unit back into the Play-offs, where they bowed out at the hands of Melbourne United. The centre led the league in blocks and rebounds as the forgiving schedule allowed him to gain form and fitness, to become the dominant big in the league.
The two-year deal in Sydney contains a no-get out clause, but it's believed the Kings have given their blessing for a stint back in the NBA, and with the Warriors looking for some depth in their rim protection stocks, a Bogut Warriors's swansong may have a nice ring to it.