Former Bulls guard Keith Bogans, who started for the Nets on Monday night, 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 by 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 Hamlton 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 ass off and that's what I dd. 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 Bogans' position was a priority for an upgrade. But the circumstances of the lockout complicated the matter when Bogans was pulled off the court on the first day of practice after the lockout 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 on Feb. 1.
''I stat 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.''
Bogans had a supercilious look on his face when asked prior to the game if playing the Bulls gave him added motivation. ''Man, I'm just going to wait and see,'' he said. ''I'm just going to go out and have fun. I'm not going to put an pressure on myself that I gotta do this or that against them. I'm just trying to learn the system and get back in shape.''
But he still 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.''