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Bogut aiming for Tokyo 2020 as career finale

4 January 2018

BASKETBALL: Andrew Bogut is eyeing the medal podium at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the perfect stage to end his distinguished basketball career.

The 33-year-old Los Angeles Lakers centre, who has suffered and overcome numerous serious injuries during his 13 NBA seasons, knows he still faces a long road to make it to Tokyo and achieve a fairytale career finish with a medal alongside his Australian team-mates.

"Yeah," Bogut told AAP when asked if victory in an Olympic medal game would be the perfect way to hang up his size 18 basketball boots.

"I'll be 36 or 37.

"It would be nice, but you never know what happens and I'm just taking it year by year."

The Australian men's team has never won an Olympic medal, but expectations are high with young talent led by NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ben Simmons, the Milwaukee Bucks' Thon Maker and Charlotte Hornets' Mangok Mathiang joining forces with NBA veterans Bogut, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum and Aron Baynes.

"We could fill a whole Australian team with NBA players so it's exciting," Bogut said.

"Hopefully I'm still running around and the body feels good.

"It would be my fourth Olympics and I'd love to be involved with it and, being greedy, we have a chance to be really good with a squad of NBA players with Ben Simmons, Patty, Dante, Delly, Baynesey, Joey."

Bogut said the elite group will likely first come together at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

"That will be the plan," Bogut said.

"While it's a tournament, it's actually a qualifier for the Olympics so most of the guys who commit for the Olympics will likely commit to both years and I'll probably do the same."

Bogut paid tribute to the strong play of Australian NBL players who are successfully making their way through the qualifying rounds for the Boomers.

Bogut will not play for the Boomers during this year's NBA off-season to rest his body, although some Australian NBA players could.

"The qualifiers this off-season, I definitely won't be playing," he said.

"I know a lot of (NBA) guys won't.

"Maybe just one or two guys will put their hands up in July or August, but I think the guys that we have had have done a great job so far."

AAP

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