The latest round of Raptors news comes to us via Andrea Bargnani’s interview with Italian sports media outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, where Bargnani reveals that his elbow injury will keep him out of the lineup at least three weeks.
Sportando translated the interview (very loosely) here, but here are the main talking points from Bargnani’s responses…
After talking about how everything has gone wrong so far this season and stating that “we are the worst team in the NBA right now,” Bargnani goes on to call the season a “tragedy.” Given that Dwane Casey didn’t like Bargnani using the word “depressed” to describe his emotions on Thursday, I’m guessing he won’t like the fact that Andrea referred to the season as a whole as a tragedy.
On the constant criticism that his usually effortless and inconsistent play draws? “This is not the first time I am being criticized. But it doesn’t affect me.” Bargnani goes on to talk about how he hears the trade rumours surrounding his name and that he is “ready for anything.”
The kicker for me, though, is the end of the interview. Bargnani says that he is improving every year and follows that up with “se io gioco bene o male sono fatti miei, ma se i Toronto Raptors perdono ogni anno è un problema per più persone.” In english, “If I play good or bad, it’s my problem. But if the Toronto Raptors lose every year it’s more people’s problem.”
Hey, Andrea. If you think you’ve improved this season, you’re certifiably delsuional. You’re actually playing the worst basketball since your sophomore season, and looking at some of the advanced metrics, you might actually be playing the worst ball of your career for the second-worst team in the NBA, though I don’t fault you for assuming they’re actually the worst.
And I actually agree with Bargnani’s closing remarks. If the team loses every year, it’s clearly on more people than just Andrea. But having said that, Bargnani’s lifeless attitude on the court and the fact that he’s been trumpeted as a No. 1 option for the last couple of years are BIG reasons why this franchise continues to lose. Perhaps even the biggest reasons.
I’ve said it hundreds of times, and I’ll say it again. The most frustrating and infuriating thing about Andrea Bargnani isn’t that he can’t get it done, it’s that he won’t. He’s been blessed with the talent to enjoy a career of 20-25 points and 6-8 rebounds in his prime if he really wanted to, and I don’t throw those numbers out there lightly.
Unfortunately, when and for how long he chooses to display that talent from time to time and game to game is totally up to him, and until either Bargnani suddenly wakes up after seven years (won’t happen) or the Raptors rid themselves of his poisonous presence, the team will likely remain the “tragedy” Bargnani alluded to.
Only it’s a comedic tragedy to the rest of the NBA.