OAKLAND -- The competitor in him didn't want to feel good about losing. But Warriors center Andrew Bogut couldn't deny what his body was telling him, specifically his surgically repaired left ankle.
"You don't want to say you're relieved losing a game," he said before his exit interviews at the team facility on Friday. "At the same time, the mental and physical pain I felt the last two or three weeks was getting worse and worse. For the season to end wasn't a terrible thing, but the way it ended was disappointing."
During the playoffs, Bogut proved he can be a difference maker. He was a big reason the Warriors came two wins from the Western Conference Finals. But he was also the reason Golden State didn't advance, as his absence was a major blow to the defense.
Bogut was dominant early but faded as the series against San Antonio evolved. By the fourth quarter of Game 6, he was done. He said he could hardly move because of his ankle.
Bogut said he could sometimes feel the scar tissue tearing from his surgery in April 2012. When that happened, swelling would follow, leading to pain and immobility. He said he stepped on a foot in Game 5 and it was all down hill from there.
In the early round, multiple days off between games allowed Bogut's ankle to recover. But against the Spurs, the games came every other day. That simply just wasn't enough time.
"I managed it every day. Every day was a battle, basically, after April," he said. "Every day I had to come in early to get treatment, just to get it right just enough to get back on the court. My whole playoff campaign was that. Once we started going every other day with the Spurs, it just got worse and worse. I tried to do everything I could off the court to be a positive impact on the court. Some days it worked and some days it didn't."
Bogut, who will spend his offseason in Australia and Croatia, said being healthy will allow him to recapture his offensive game. He said he will workout while resting his ankle to avoid adding body fat, since the heavier he is the more pounding his ankle takes.
He said his plan is to play 82 games next season, the last year of his contract ($14.2 million). He said he is encouraged by what he was able to do with a bad left wheel and is convinced he is the answer for the Warriors in the middle.
"I'm excited to get to this offseason and get this ankle right," Bogut said. "I anticipate that three or four months rest should do a world of wonders."