is the baby faced assassin
Join Date: May 2008
Location: YO MAMMA
Serby's Sunday Q & A with... Andrea Bargnani
Q: What was it like playing against Kevin Garnett?
A: He’s a very good defender, very good player, great competitor, so it’s always fun, very fun to play against him... You want to play against the best, because it brings out your best.
Q: Is he the biggest trash talker you’ve played against?
A: I know he talks. I can hear him talk, but I don’t really listen to what he says.
Q: You might be at an advantage, not understanding half of what KG says, right?
A: The first two, three years, it was hard to understand English coming from Italy, but now I understand English (smile).
Q: How will playing with Carmelo Anthony help your game?
A: Well Melo, he’s a superstar, he can do everything. So just the attention that he draws from the other team, he helps not just me but the other four players on the court, because the other team’s got to be focused on him. They’ve got to guard him and double-team him, so that opens up space on the court. I hope I can help him have more space now, be on the perimeter sometimes, not just inside, it can open up the court for him to play more.
Q: Give a scouting report on yourself.
A: I can really do everything — I can dribble, I can shoot from outside, of course, I can play in the low block. ... Offensively, I do a little bit of everything. Depends who’s guarding me ... where’s the mismatch? I can’t even tell you what I like to do the most. ... I like to do everything ... good in any position.
Q: What are the most unfair criticisms you hear?
A: I’m very realistic, so I know the areas where I got to get better. I know I got to be a better rebounder, and I know I *****will***** be a better rebounder next season. Criticism, that’s part of the business, part of the sport. Sometimes they’re good. I use that motivation.
Q: Can you play good defense?
A: For sure, yeah.
Q: But that’s been a criticism, that you can’t.
A: Well, what they say is I can play a very good defense on my man, but I got to be better team defender, that’s what they always tell me. One-on-one I’m a good defender, but I got to be a better team defender.
Q: A quote about you last year: “He was never in shape. He didn’t care.”
A: Who’s that coming from?
Q: No name was put on it.
A: I can tell you that coming into the training camp I was in great shape. And then after the [elbow and wrist] injury, it took me two months to get back on the court. And because of the injury, I couldn’t lift weights at all for two months. That was so bad. When I came back, I was weaker. It was impossible to be in shape.
Q: You were called The Next Dirk Nowitzki. Did that add pressure on you?
A: As a kid, being compared to Dirk is a good thing. Of course you’re happy about it. But I never really paid attention to it, because we were two different players.
Q: NBA people thought there were similarities.
A: Yeah, because when a big guy can shoot from outside, that’s why. ... It was just something that was out there.
Q: Who gave you the nickname Il Mago — The Magician?
A: Ricardo Pittis, he was the former captain of the [Italian] National team, and he was the captain on Benetton Trevisa. There is no real reason for it, he just said it sounds good with my last name, so he started calling me like that because I was 16.
Q: Do you see yourself as a magician on the court?
A: The Magician? No, I see myself as a basketball player (laugh).
Q: The boos in Toronto didn’t bother you?
A: I wasn’t happy about it. I can’t say I was excited. ... Toronto has great fans, it’s a great city, great fans. I was lucky to end up there.
Q: The worst part for you?
A: The beginning of [last] season, where we started 4-19. ... I was upset, I was very frustrated. We made the playoffs my first two years, [then] four years of no playoffs. So this year, the fifth year after being a losing team, everybody was saying this was going to be the year, we were going to at least try to fight for the playoffs, so starting like that was really hard, it was frustrating for everybody.
Q: Describe your first time playing at Madison Square Garden.
A: Most famous arena in the world, so you hear a lot about it before you go in. ... It brings up a lot of emotions, especially if you come from Rome.
Q: Didn’t you score 41 points at the Garden on Dec. 8, 2010?
A: Yeah, that’s my high career. That feeling is a good feeling. Of course I was very excited to score so many points. I was very happy, but we lost the game at the end [when Raymond Felton hit a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to give the Knicks a 133-110 win over the Raptors].
Q: Who are the players you liked to watch growing up?
A: Coming from Italy, the only games they were showing on TV was the Finals, so Chicago Bulls against Utah Jazz, that was the only NBA basketball I saw growing up. ... Internet was not there yet. ... So my idol, of course, was Michael Jordan.
Q: You played against Pablo Prigioni.
A: He’s always been a great player in Europe. One of the best point guards, if not the best point guard for many years.
Q: Your dream as a little boy was to play in the NBA?
A: When I was a little boy, the NBA was so far. ... Your max expectation is to be in the first division in Italy.
Q: When did you start thinking about the NBA?
A: When I went to Benetton Trevisa. A lot of NBA scouts were in and out, and Maurizio Gherardini was a great friend of mine and he was my GM when I was 16. That’s what he told me the first day, “You can be whatever you want it to be, depends on you. ... You can be a good player in the NBA if you want it.”
Q: How are you going to respond to being one of New York’s most-eligible bachelors?
A: How New York is going to respond to that (laugh)?
Q: Probably depends how you play.
A: That’s a good answer (laugh)!
Q: Is there a difference between American women and Italian women?
A: No, I think it’s the same. I mean, beautiful is beautiful, and ugly is ugly, and you got everything.
Q: What do you prefer, beautiful or ugly?
Q: Your mother, Luisella Balducci, is a high school English teacher. Did she teach you English?
A: She tried. She tried very hard, but it’s very hard to teach to your son. She’s a great teacher, but I didn’t learn much at home. I learned my first English when I was playing Benetton Trevisa, my pro team in Italy, we have four American players.
Q: Describe your mom.
A: She was always my role model. She’s a very strong woman, and she always helped me a lot playing basketball, she supported me. Rome is a huge city, and like certain areas, to move and to go around, it takes hours. She always sacrificed in a way that she always bringing me to the practice court, that means maybe four hours driving a day.
Q: Your parents divorced when you were 13. How did that affect you?
A: Of course, it’s not good news. Basketball was a huge help. I was playing basketball every day, so I didn’t really have much time to be sad or to do other stuff.
Q: Favorite New York City things?
A: You name it, you have it. That’s the best thing about New York, there is no one favorite thing, whatever you want you have it.
Q: How do the Italian restaurants in New York compare to the ones in Rome?
A: They’re as good as the good ones in Italy.
A: No, not golf. I got the clubs.
Q: You got the clubs but you never played?
A: Yeah, because Nike makes clubs, so I say, “Why not order them? You never know (laugh).”
Q: Three dinner guests?
A: [Giilio] Andreotti. ... He’s been the Prime Minister of Italy for many years. ... They say he was connected to so many people and he made so many decisions. Roberto Baggio. He’s a soccer player. He’s my favorite of all time. I hope to meet the third in the next few years (smile).
Q: Your mom wanted you to play basketball, right?
A: Yeah yeah. I wanted to play soccer just because to follow every other kid, because 99 guys out of 100 would play soccer. ... She forced me to start basketball.
Q: Favorite movie?
Q: Favorite actor?
A: Denzel Washington.
Q: Favorite entertainers?
A: Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake.
Q: Favorite meal?
A: I try everything. But most of the time, I eat Italian.
Q: Your favorite Italian dish?
A: Eggplant parmigiana.
Q: Message to Knicks fans?
A: I’ll bring it every night. I’ll try to do as much as possible to help the team winning. I can’t wait to be part of a winning team.
Q: Knicks fans?
A: They’re very passionate. ... They’re not afraid to show their emotions. ... They know basketball. ... They let you know what their feelings are.
Last edited by jeffb; 07-14-2013 at 02:15 PM.