Dwane Casey Advises Andrea Bargnani to Wear Earplugs in Toronto Return

by October 11, 2013

Canada seriously considered making the day Andrea Bargnani was traded a national holiday. OK, not really. But hoops fans in Toronto were thrilled when the big fella was shipped off to New York. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey thinks it’d be a good idea for Bargs to put in some earplugs when he plays in Toronto as a Knick Friday night. Per the NY Post: “They can boo him all they want now,’ Raptors coach Dwyane Casey cracked. ‘He gave seven great years to the organization. [But] fans are fans. He should probably put on ear plugs.’ Bargnani passed his first Knicks’ test Wednesday in Providence, R.I., where he scored 12 points in 18:56 and made all six of his free throws in a 103-102 victory over the Celtics. It wasn’t perfect. The enigmatic Bargnani was 3-of-8, missing all three of his 3-point attempts, committed an early charge and perhaps drove to the basket too much instead of firing away at open looks. ‘I like everything about him,’ Mike Woodson said. ‘That was the reason we brought him over. I think he’s just a talented kid who knows how to play. I’ve got to keep his spirits up and pat him when he needs to be patted and ride his [butt] when it needs to be rode.’ Paired with Carmelo Anthony, Woodson liked how the big front line looked. ‘The spacing was really good with him,’ Woodson said. ‘When you swing it, he’s a guy who can make shots. He missed some good looks. But he’s a guy that can put it down [on the floor] and cause problems, getting all the way to the rim and pulling up with the mid-range shot. I think it’s going to work.’ So why didn’t it work out in Canada? ‘I’m not even going to go there,’ Woodson said. ‘I don’t criticize coaches or organizations. I see a player, I think, fits in [the] scheme of things I do. It’s not about that team anymore. It’s about getting him acclimated to what we’re doing. I think he’ll be just fine.’ […] Bargnani was matter-of-fact on the subject of his Toronto return. ‘Of course it’s strange coming to Toronto,’ Bargnani said. ‘I played here seven years. It’s a long time. I definitely feel like a New York Knick. But I played seven years in Toronto. So it’s a weird feeling coming into [Friday].'”