Australia was denied a medal in the Olympic men’s basketball tournament by the narrowest of margins, and center Andrew Bogut was about as pleased as Ayesha Curry after an NBA Finals game.
After Australia’s 89-88 loss to Spain in the bronze medal game on Sunday (a contest that featured a questionable foul call against Patty Mills with 5.4 seconds remaining, sending Sergio Rodriguez to the line where he sank both free throws), Bogut went off on the officiating.
“Obviously we are disappointed, at times we felt we were outnumbered on the court for the majority of the game,” said Bogut, per John Ralph of the Herald Sun. “It felt like we were playing a different sport. The superman dived into me and the referees bought it.
“Some of them you could see on the tape how obvious they were,” he continued. “You tap these guys and they go flying and the referees bought it. We tried to adjust knowing what they were going to do but the last two fouls were tough on us.”
Bogut, who himself fouled out in less than 14 minutes of action, then lashed out at FIBA Basketball as a whole, per Hoops Heaven.
Andrew Bogut: "Questionable calls all game. That's FIBA basketball. Wouldn't expect anything less from the refs."
— Hoops_Heaven (@Hoops_Heaven) August 21, 2016
FIBA officials are known to call games a bit more stringently than their NBA counterparts, so Bogut probably isn’t accustomed to being called for the illegal screens and arm bars he usually gets away with. That said, the officiating was somewhat up and down this tournament, and for Australia to play as well as they did and still be denied a medal in the last five seconds of their final game has to be enormously frustrating.
All things considered, Bogut probably won’t be looking back on Rio with too many fond memories.
Image Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
H/T CBS Sports