Ex-Bull Keith Bogans rankled by unkind cut
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com February 6, 2012 10:18PM
The Nets’ Deron Williams, who scored 25 of his team’s 87 points on Monday, takes a hard bump into Carlos Boozer. | Julio Cortez~AP
Updated: March 8, 2012 8:17AM
NEWARK, N.J. — Former Bulls guard Keith Bogans, a backup guard with the New Jersey Nets, didn’t want to rehash the awkward circumstances that led to him being waived by the Bulls after the lockout ended. But he couldn’t help but acknowledge that he felt disrespected with the way the Bulls handled his departure.
‘‘Who wouldn’t?’’ said Bogans, who started all 97 games for the Bulls last season but was cut when Richard Hamilton was signed. ‘‘We’re all men here first. We’re men before basketball players. I don’t want to say the wrong thing, so I’m going to be quiet and just let it go.
‘‘It was tough. It was a learning experience. I [decided] I’m going to turn it into a positive and work my [tail] off, and that’s what I did. It was fun playing with them last year. But as far as [getting cut], I’m done with it.’’
The Bulls made it clear that they wanted to upgrade Bogans’ shooting guard position, but the circumstances of the lockout complicated the matter. Bogans was pulled off the court on the first day of practice as the Bulls looked at free-agent options. When they signed Hamilton, they waived Bogans. Surprisingly, the eight-year veteran was out of the league until the Nets signed him Feb. 1.
‘‘I stay in contact with everybody on that team. All those guys hit me up, wanting to know how or why,’’ Bogans said. ‘‘I couldn’t answer that. I still can’t answer that. When I signed, I got a call from all of them, congratulating me, saying, ‘Finally.’ Nobody understood what happened.’’
But he has fond memories of his one season with the Bulls.
‘‘I had a great time. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We won 60 games. Went to the Eastern Conference finals. One of the best years of my NBA career. Definitely wouldn’t take anything from that.’’
Picking up steam
Luol Deng, who scored 21 points against the Milwaukee Bucks after missing seven games with a wrist injury, looked even better against the Nets. Deng hit his first five shots, including three three-pointers, as he scored 13 points and had two assists in the first quarter as the Bulls took a 35-14 lead.
Hamilton still out
Hamilton is out with groin and thigh injuries, but he wasn’t even in the building Monday. He was tending to ‘‘a personal issue,’’ and ‘‘will be back shortly,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau reported no target date for Hamilton’s return as far as the injury is concerned.
‘‘He’s still doing his rehab,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re going to be very patient with him.’’
Grass not greener
Deron Williams is averaging 20 points and 8.8 assists, close to his averages of 21.3 and 9.7 with the Utah Jazz last season. But the former Illini guard doesn’t have much else to show for his move from the Jazz to the Nets after Jerry Sloan left Utah last season.
The Nets, 8-18 this season, are 15-36 since trading for Williams, including 12-26 when Williams plays.