Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 at 10:05 am  |  35 responses

Sam Mitchell Says He Wasn’t Allowed to Be Tough on Andrea Bargnani

Former Toronto Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell claims that the organization made it clear that he should tone down his fiery style when it came to big man Andrea Bargnani. Mitchell felt the team coddled Bargs since they didn’t think he could handle too much criticism. Per the Fan 590 (via Raptors HQ): “I would say my biggest problem with Andrea is I wasn’t allowed to coach Andrea the way I was allowed to coach Jose (Calderon). I was a hard ass on Jose. I was hard on him,’ said Mitchell, ‘but look at the type of player he turned out to be.’ [...] ‘I was not allowed to be that tough on Andrea because the organization thought he couldn’t take it. My whole thing is, if he can’t take it, then we can’t build around him,’ said Mitchell. ‘No one thought Jose could take it, but look at how Jose did.’ Asked when the team decided he should back off Bargs, Mitchell continued. ‘Early. I think because he was the No. 1 pick and a lot was invested in him, I thought a lot of people in the organization felt my coaching style would be tough for Andrea.’ [...] ‘It just doesn’t seem like he has the passion for the game. It doesn’t seem like it’s important enough to him,’ Mitchell said. ‘If you go by talent, Andrea is the most talented guy. He has size, he has quickness, he can shoot the ball. The question with Andrea is how bad does he want it? That’s something you can’t measure.’”

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  • JML-G

    taking him as #1 draft pick was a ridiculous choice no matter how they handled it later

  • Fat Lever

    If guys who currently want to develop their post game go to Hakeem in the off-season, maybe KG can start up a similar thing for big men who lack toughness. Subject #1 should be Bargs.

  • Redd

    Who cares, it’s the Raps.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Nick Tha Quick

    “If you go by talent, Andrea is the most talented guy” Sam apparently forgot about Andre Blatch.

  • T-Money

    actually, the raps have been playing really well recently. bargs is also out. these two sentences may be correlated.

  • Tim

    ummm fans of the Raps

  • roscoe

    i’d argue “toughness” is not something taught, but naturally embodied.

    although, it would be fun to watch kg try to “toughen” up some guys.

  • R32

    Only a few players from that 06′ draft became stars (Aldridge, Rondo, Gay, Roy). Bargnani is the next best player behind those 4. Yes, its time for the Raps to move on, but lets not act like he was a complete bust (Olowokandi, Kwame).

  • Barbosa’s love child

    That could be the scheme for a series of commercials for any sports product on earth! Imagine the commercials! Garnet Toughness training, day 1. He’s whipping wrenches at people like dude from dodgeball.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    here we are again lol. The Raptors are killing it son. And ayyy man, we didnt lose to the bobcats, giving them their first win in like 20 tries, right? ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    Not really. If u listened to the whole interview, Sam mentioned that if Roy didnt have his knees problems, he woulda gone 1st. But he did have knee issues, and the reason they passed on him is the what you are seeing before your eyes today. He’s done. And He also said that it was a toss up between Bargs and Aldridge, and obviously looking bak and hindsight being 20/20, you could say they shoulda picked Aldridge, but the draft was weak. The next picks after those two were Adam Morrison, Sheldon Williams and Tyrus Thomas. Sam said he wasnt even disappointed, and cant be today either, that they picked andrea, because as he is quoted as saying “from a Talent standpoint, Andrea was the best.” Yes, better than Aldridge. He just didnt have the toughness and the will, which i guess no one could have exactly foreseen.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I would say the gap between Bargs vs Aldridge, Roy, Gay, and Rondo are laughable. And would also through in guys like Lowry and Millsap as being better pros.

    It’s not just the drafting of Bargnani that pisses Raptor fans off. It’s also how it was handled after the fact. It’s how he was given preferential treatment (as Mitchell mentioned). It’s how he had unlimited shots and minutes despite having no responsibility/accountability on the defensive end. It’s how coaches like Mitchell and players like Bosh and Ford were made scapegoats all the while the elephant in the room was this #1 pick 7 foot “center” who was being thoroughly outplayed by nba journeymen.

    And the worst part is it’s not a debilitating injury (Brandon Roy) or a guy who’s trying but is limited physically (J.J. Redick), it’s a guy with all the talent and size but who JUST DOESN’T WANT IT. He’s not a complete bust, but he’s even worse. He’s a disappointment who showed just enough flashes of potential to somehow warrant a ridiculous contract extension.

    Sorry, not attacking your comment, just venting.

  • timbo slice

    i love my raptors but bargs has to go, seems like he doesnt even care, almost as if hes only here to collect a pay check………. no fire at all

  • Redd

    Raps are on a tear, but you know me, I’ma hater. I appreciate you being the only Rap fan not to consistently want to rip my throat.

    For the record i blame Drake for my Raptor hate.

  • Redd

    Yep, Biryani is holding you guys back & I saw Ross’ stat line. Sadly you guys aren’t moving Biryani’s contract anytime soon.

  • Redd

    Those things exist?

  • The Philosopher

    Christian Laettner Jr…

  • Mackenzie Kerridge

    Lol at the time Bargnani was the guy with the most potential (besides Rudy Gay and Tyrus Thomas) but LaMarcus Aldridge should have been the number one pick regardless… Colangelo didn’t take into account defensive ineptitude and soft european-ism aren’t adjectives to describe franchise players.

  • LakeShow

    Just wanted to let you know I always enjoy your posts. I usually agree with them also, but when I don’t, I still respect the opinion because you convey those opinions well.
    Your the most “underrated commenter” lol.

  • LakeShow

    I always hate these statements…
    Obviously LeBron James, KB, Dwayne Wade, CP, D-Rose ETC… are the most talented lol.
    Bargs is talented, but not even as talented as Dirk or hell, Okur… someone of similar stlye that made more of themselves.

  • LakeShow


  • LakeShow

    At least toss a “G” in there when your spelling his name… Damn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    hey, Drake can fall in a ditch and disappear for all i care lol. But thats like me disliking all the other American teams for being American cuz Jessica black is from there. Or everyone hating Canada because of Justin Bieber. Oh wait…

  • LakeShow

    In other words: “You never know if your going to get a Dirk or a Sun Yue.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    lol, “Biryani”

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    now now, Sun Yue had neither much talent or much toughness or will to begin with, lol

  • Redd

    America reminded you of the weekend, you’re welcome Canada.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    lol, go away.

  • Allenp

    Bravo sir, bravo.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Appreciate the love, Lake. And your “quacking” comment a while back still goes down as one of my favourite responses of all time.

  • LakeShow

    LOL, forgot about that one. I don’t even remember who I was talking to.
    It can only be used once is the problem lol.
    Keep up the goods man.


    Yup, lets go RAPTORS!

  • MikeC.

    Primo pasta and sauce.

  • Redd

    Give me a break for once Lake dang.

  • LakeShow

    lol, that one was irresistible! (his knick name is BarGs!!) I give you more breaks than you realize!
    haha just giving you guff man.