Cameron Bairstow; Ben Simmons; Joe Ingles

A LOT has happened in between buckets for Cameron Bairstow, with Ben Simmons, Joe Ingles and Thon Maker among the fresh Australian stock to impress in a growing NBA stable. But the big man is keen to make up for lost time.

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      Cam Bairstow has no retirements plans despite a string of injuries. Picture: Getty.Source:Getty Images

      CAMERON Bairstow was playing in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls one minute and backpacking around Europe the next.

      And while both activities hold a certain appeal, Bairstow says his injury-enforced sojourn helped make one thing clear.

      “It gives you a taste of retirement … I didn’t enjoy it that much,” he said.

      Cam Bairstow has no retirements plans despite a string of injuries. Picture: Getty.

      Cam Bairstow has no retirements plans despite a string of injuries. Picture: Getty.Source:Getty Images

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      “It’s a pretty boring lifestyle, not playing basketball … I want to keep playing for as long as I can.”

      Bairstow was pick 49 in the 2014 NBA draft, playing two seasons at the Bulls before being traded to, then waived by, the Detroit Pistons. The Brisbane product was quickly snapped up as the Bullets’ marquee signing in their 2016 NBL return.

      But a shoulder injury at the Rio Olympics delayed his NBL debut before a horror in-game knee injury in December – he damaged both his ACL and MCL – brought a sudden end to his season.

      The 27-year-old spent last year as a traveller, student and occasional basketball coach without a professional contract and, now back on the Bullets’ revamped roster, is slated to be fully fit for October’s NBL tip-off.

      A lot has happened in between buckets for Bairstow, with countrymen Ben Simmons, Joe Ingles and Thon Maker among the fresh Australian stock to impress in a growing NBA stable.

      Plenty of forwards have put their hand up in the NBL, too, to the point where Bairstow was squeezed out of the Boomers’ domestic-based World Cup qualifying squad to play Qatar in Doha in September.

      But the level-headed big isn’t worried about that, or any other potential rival, as contenders jostle for a berth at next year’s World Cup.

      Cameron Bairstow was drafted by the Chicago Bulls back in 2014.

      Cameron Bairstow was drafted by the Chicago Bulls back in 2014.Source:Getty Images

      “It’s always tough when you’re comparing your situation to others, so as far as you can you don’t do that,” he said.

      “It doesn’t matter how you good are, there’s always going to be others doing better than you and if you compare yourself to them that’s not going to make you feel good.

      “Everyone’s situation is different. You’ve just got to be thankful for what you do have and not what you don’t.”

      Originally published as Remember me! Patient Bairstow primed for return

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