Awards stunt gave NBL publicity: Bogut

Sydney Kings star Andrew Bogut has been named the NBL's Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 season.
Sydney Kings star Andrew Bogut has been named the NBL's Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 season.

Andrew Bogut reckons he gave the NBL some much-needed publicity with his awards night stunt and says his critics should lighten up.

Bogut was crowned the league's Most Valuable Player at the NBL gala dinner in Melbourne on Sunday night but it was a lesser award that ended up taking the spotlight.

The superstar big man courted controversy when his Sydney Kings understudy Dane Pineau accepted Bogut's defender of the year award on his behalf while he sat and watched.

Pineau made an awkward speech poking fun at Bogut's cockiness.

"It's incredible to get this award, it means not only am I really good defensive player, it means I'm the best defensive player in the whole league ... it means I'm good at five on five, four on four, three on three, two on two and one on one. I'm the best, I would put 10k on it," Pineau said.

Bogut was criticised on social media but insisted there was no disrespect intended, adding that Pineau had devised the stunt in homage to actor Will Ferrell accepting an award on behalf of Tiger Woods at the 2008 ESPY awards.

"He said 'if you win an award, can I do your speech' and I said 'sure', thinking that he was taking the piss," Bogut told reporters on Monday.

"On the night when he actually stood up and did it, I didn't think he was going to do it.

"I don't take things too seriously, I kind of march to the beat of my own drum and that's how I'll continue to do things."

The former NBA champion was rewarded for his outstanding first season back in Australia by taking out the MVP award ahead of Melbourne United point guard Casper Ware.

Bogut said he had no regrets about the stunt despite a "divided" reaction from the NBL brass and on social media.

"No disrespect to the other guys who gave speeches but the other speeches didn't exactly set the world on fire," Bogut said.

"It was a four and a half, five-hour awards night. It lightened the mood a little bit. Some people didn't know what the hell was going on - that made it even more fun - and then it blew up on social media, so the PR people were very, very happy with it."

MVP runner-up Ware also saw the funny side of the incident.

"I thought it was a joke at first," Ware laughed.

"I though he was going to get up there but when (Dane) kept going, I was like 'oh, really?'. It was pretty funny but I wouldn't do it."

Australian Associated Press