Cathal Kelly: Andrea Bargnani needs to be sent packing
Old 11-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Cathal Kelly: Andrea Bargnani needs to be sent packing

Watch him have a monster game tonight lol

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By Cathal Kelly
Columnist

It’s not fighting that ends relationships. That happens when one partner decides it’s not worth arguing any more.

We’ve reached that point with Andrea Bargnani. No amount of verbal lashing will move this man. He’ll absorb everything this city flings his way and shrug. “Criticism has two sides,” Bargnani said last year. “Most of the time it just comes here …” — pointing at one ear — “ … and goes out here” — pointing at the other.

He is a stump. A talented stump, but a stump nonetheless — immovable, unchangeable.

The crucial distinction here is this: With a limited sampling of Kyle Lowry still available, Bargnani remains the most dependable offensive option on the Raptors roster. He is a star, but not the right star for this squad.

“I like our team. I like our pieces,” coach Dwane Casey said Friday. “Sometimes, I don’t like the way they execute.”

While he will not have been thinking specifically about Bargnani as he said that — unlike the restive fan base, it wouldn’t be Casey’s way to shift the blame onto one man — it’s hard not to read some criticism of his frustrating indispensable into that comment. Bargnani is the one who needs to become something other than a stretch-4 for this team to win, and won’t. Not can’t. Won’t.

Casey has changed up in recent games, giving Bargnani multiple touches to start a game. Sometimes (as in Detroit, where he scored 34), it works. Sometimes (as against San Antonio, when he went 2-for-19), it implodes.

The other expected contributions — rebounding and defensive toughness — have reverted to pre-2011 norms. Those should be constants, and they are. Almost constantly disregarded.

No bench commitment to pot-stirring will make this soufflé rise. That’s up to the player. Bargnani remains the bull who refuses to see red.

Despite all the talk about his slow growth, the Italian’s time in Toronto has worked like a one-time-only stimulus.

The nadir after 16 games remains 2005. That year started out 1-15, prompting the arrival of Bryan Colangelo on a charger provided from the league stables.

His signature move remains taking Bargnani first overall the next spring, and maybe that’s the problem. The men who run sports teams aren’t conditioned to climb down from bold stands. You show too much of your back while you’re doing that. Colangelo remains a peripheral figure this year, seldom heard from and nearly never seen.

“We don’t discuss our intentions concerning player movement or acquisition,” Colangelo said Friday to the suggestion of moving Bargnani now. Like nearly all his missives, it came via email. There are few topics he’s comfortable getting into a give-and-take about right now.

The club bounced immediately after Bargnani’s arrival, and has since begun a slow, inexorable decline — the only marked constant of which is his presence.

Now the Raptors are quick-stepping into an off-season disaster — one in which they neither make the playoffs, nor reap a lottery pick for their trouble.

Based on the current course, this ship is scheduled to launch next year with the same key personnel that drove it onto the rocks during this voyage.

If the Raptors were a sitcom, they’d be Gilligan’s Island — plenty of different types on that crew, too, but crucially lacking the guy who knows how to patch a hole in a boat.

Jose Calderon will be gone soon (and that’s only necessary, not any sort of cause for celebration. Toronto could learn a pan-sporting lesson in mourning the loss of old soldiers). Bargnani should be, too.

It’s not clear what’s out there for him. Despite the stop-gap addition of Mickael Pietrus, what this club could really use is a dominating small forward.

Rudy Gay? Not with the way Memphis has started. Denver’s Andre Iguodala? Another pipe dream. Maybe Luol Deng, whose contract looks more digestible by the day, could be gotten, but the water-treading Bulls will want to wait on Derrick Rose’s return before taking that flyer.

The more you think about it, the fashionable suggestion — parceling someone with Bargnani for the Lakers’ Pau Gasol — makes sense.

It may not be from a competitive perspective; assuming Gasol is healthy (capital “A” assume), does his lumpen paint presence stunt the development of Jonas Valanciunas?

But that swap certainly works from the vantage point of optics. After so many years of disappointment, the Raptors should care about laying down bread crumbs to departing fans.

We can all agree that something about this Raptor team needs to change. Moving chairs in the executive suites won’t make any difference at this point. There’s only one place change matters.

The easiest, most potentially impactful way to do that is let go of Bargnani. Not give up on him — he’s still got stardom in him — but admit that it’s not going to happen here.

It might even be fairer to him, if you’ve got an altruistic bent. However much the fans perceive him as removed and aloof, Bargnani was never that. He cares. He just doesn’t care enough to change. In another walk of life, we’d admire his stubbornness and singularity of vision. But we don’t work on teams, and so it is Bargnani’s fatal flaw.

Pat him on the back, wish him luck and start over. As much as we see these sorts of things in binary — winners and losers — there is a way for both Bargnani and the Raptors to win something this year. That’s by agreeing to an amicable divorce.
Andrea Bargnani needs to be sent packing: Kelly - thestar.com
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Who the hell is Cathal Kelly?
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Drew Carey?
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, let's just attack the messenger instead of actually seeing that he has a point. I agree with Kelly 100%. You can't win when Bargs is your "star" player.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, let's just attack the messenger instead of actually seeing that he has a point. I agree with Kelly 100%. You can't win when Bargs is your "star" player.
+1
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, let's just attack the messenger instead of actually seeing that he has a point. I agree with Kelly 100%. You can't win when Bargs is your "star" player.
In the end I agree that he should leave, no matter how he plays he's the only problem of this team right now. He's playing a decent D too, but comments are still about his completely absence of D.
I failed to see such much better D when he's not playing, surely team plays a slightly better D, but not as if he was that dramatic horrible defender as it is pictured.
I'm pretty sure that if he moves to another team and plays exatly the same they'll be saying that he's playing better because of the change.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Same point but diplomatic enough to be called an article.
More of the same please
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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bargnani can definitely be part of a winning team, but with the way the team is setup, he is the "star" player and the #1 guy, in this scenario we cannot win, especially when the rest of the team isn't that good
i think he's good enough to be part of a big 3 stars sort of setup, but he can't be the #1 guy and the other 2 have to be all-star/superstar guys
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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bargnani can definitely be part of a winning team, but with the way the team is setup, he is the "star" player and the #1 guy, in this scenario we cannot win, especially when the rest of the team isn't that good
i think he's good enough to be part of a big 3 stars sort of setup, but he can't be the #1 guy and the other 2 have to be all-star/superstar guys
He's a good supporting player, but we need an allstar wing ala Rudy Gay, to take pressure off him.

Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of acquiring such a piece, and we have money tied up to some bad players.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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He's a good supporting player, but we need an allstar wing ala Rudy Gay, to take pressure off him.

Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of acquiring such a piece, and we have money tied up to some bad players.
We don't have that much money tied up in bad players. Our worst contracts are Calderon (not really since he's an expiring), Bargnani, Amir. I wouldn't say these players are bad, but two or all three need to go since i don't think they're a good fit here anymore. The rest of our contracts aren't that bad imo (even Fields). I still say Derozan is a little overpayed but not by a great amount.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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He just had his "best" shitty game ever,scoring just 4 points(on 1-4 fg) and grabbing 2 rebounds...but he came up big down the stretch defensively,guarding Scola and hitting those free throws.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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even if i don't look at whether or not Bargnani is good or not, its probably just a good idea he leave because we just need a change in style
as long as he's here, we have to play the current style because he is just that different of a player
i think we just need a change and to change he must go
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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never heard of this reporter
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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never heard of this reporter
Same here, but agree 100% with everything.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think he started covering the team during the last road trip.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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He just had his "best" shitty game ever,scoring just 4 points(on 1-4 fg) and grabbing 2 rebounds...but he came up big down the stretch defensively,guarding Scola and hitting those free throws.
Agree, that's a sign of growth, able to contribute while being injured! Good sign for moving forward for sure! Go Raps!
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think he started covering the team during the last road trip.
He started covering them last year, I think.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rimpianto View Post
In the end I agree that he should leave, no matter how he plays he's the only problem of this team right now. He's playing a decent D too, but comments are still about his completely absence of D.
I failed to see such much better D when he's not playing, surely team plays a slightly better D, but not as if he was that dramatic horrible defender as it is pictured.
I'm pretty sure that if he moves to another team and plays exatly the same they'll be saying that he's playing better because of the change.
I think this is a very valid expectation. We've been undervaluing veteran presence and experience on young players, too often expecting players like DD to take the reins of leadership before they are anywhere near ready, not a slight on DD but rather on management.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think this is a very valid expectation. We've been undervaluing veteran presence and experience on young players, too often expecting players like DD to take the reins of leadership before they are anywhere near ready, not a slight on DD but rather on management.
Yea that's why we should package Bargs and DD for Cousins and maybe even Evans if we add some filler. Sign more vets and i think we would be watchable without the agony.
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