Fourteen months have passed since his last game in the NBA, Andrew Bogut's debut with the Warriors on Monday went well as planned.
For an emergency starter whose head turns in several directions, it was solid.
"Andrew was great," coach Steve Kerr told reporters in San Antonio. "It's great to receive it. He is an excellent defensive player. This is an excellent smuggler. He is a lob threat. He will help us. "
Bogut tried to help against the Spurs – producing 7 points, seven rebounds, a helper and a flight in 19 minutes – but could not prevent a 111-105 defeat to the AT & T center Spurs.
"Me personally, it was good to be there and try to contribute," he said. "But I would like to leave with a win."
Bogut, 34, came out of retirement last week and signed a second tour with the Warriors after finishing the season on March 3 with the Sydney Kings of Australia National Basketball League. The 7-foot center and his family arrived in the Bay Area this weekend, giving him four days to find a home, pass conditioning tests and prepare to play Thursday against Indiana at Oracle Arena .
But when DeMarcus Cousins was slightly injured on Saturday's right foot in Oklahoma City, the timeline was advanced from three days to Monday, less than 24 hours after his arrival in San Antonio. Bogut barely knew where he was, much less ready to start an NBA game.
"I felt good," said Bogut. "I blew a little wind in the first quarter, just after leaving Australia in the last two days. But once in a rhythm, I felt very good.
"I'm just understanding how guys like the ball. This is something I still have to understand. I discovered some of our sets, which are new, but it's mostly about playing basketball. "
Bogut was signed mainly because he has the much needed size, his knowledge of the systems used by the Warriors – he was a member of the team in Kerr's first two seasons as a coach before being traded to 2016 – and its IQ hoop is perfect.
It did not take long for Bogut to receive his first salute at the whistle. The fourth-year official, Gediminas Petraitas, sanctioned a foul for illegal screen nine seconds after the kickoff.
"Welcome to the league for sure," said Bogut. "We know that you've set up hard screens, so we're going to blow up one early, that's how it goes."
The call "shocked" Kerr.
"It did not seem like much," he said. "He just stayed there. He did not take out his hip. It was just a background screen that had no impact on the room. And bam, quick fault.
There were some failures, as one could expect, but Bogut never seemed out of place among his new / old teammates. He was minus 2 for the match.
"Obviously, playing with Klay and Steph the last time I came here, and now throw (Kevin Durant) over there and see how talented he is and how easy it is for him to play, it makes you a little jealous. These guys are really talented. "
Bogut's return to the Warriors comes exactly two months after Cousins' activation. Both are from the old All-NBA centers. The Warriors won the Cousins debut by defeating the Clippers, but did not beat the Spurs.
Better days are coming, according to Bogut.
"When you offer our offensive freedom of action, there are so many weapons," he said. "I can say that tonight has been a bad night for us, but you can see the potential of this training, especially when you launch DeMarcus and a few other guys. It's quite special.
Warriors should benefit from Bogut's presence. If the first game is an indication, it will be a very good backup for the Cousins, as dictated by the confrontations.