Did Bargnani Really Say That?

HANGTIME SOUTHWEST — We all know athletes love to pull the “taken-out-of-context” card when something they say hits print or cyberspace and causes a stir.

And that’s when they’re English-speaking Americans.

So did Toronto Raptors 7-footer Andrea Bargnani really say this to an Italian publication?: “We are pretty much the worst team in the NBA.”

UPDATE: On Saturday, Bargnani claimed that he was misquoted. However, the Italian journalist who interviewed Bargnani said that is not the case.

Apparently, Bargnani hasn’t watched the Washington Wizards.

OK, so that was an unnecessary potshot. There’s nothing funny about how hot the seat of Raptors coach Dwane Casey has become in the early stages of his second season. Casey, by nature, is a calm soul and he immediately told everyone to settle down, that the Bargnani quotes just might be a case of language-barrier word tricks that foul up the translation.

“When I read it, it doesn’t sound like some of the words are Andrea’s English, first of all, so I’m sure some of it was lost in translation,” Casey told reporters. “I’ll ask him about it. Every guy has his right to his own opinion, I don’t monitor guys’ opinions or what they say.

“Me personally, I would be very careful how I would interpret that, because we’ve all traveled and I’ve seen some crazy articles come out. A lot of it’s lost in translation. I don’t know what his intentions are or what he meant by his statement, but I’ll ask him.”

It wouldn’t be the first time an overseas newspaper, perhaps unintentionally, exaggerated a story or delivered in translation some variance on the subject’s actual meaning or context.

Here’s how the newspaper, La Gazetta dello Sport, translated Bargnani’s statements about his club:

“Nothing has worked from the beginning of the season. We are pretty much the worst team in the NBA. This summer’s moves in the market were made to build a winning team, but we are not winning.

“We are below all of the expectations. No one is used to playing with anyone. We have won four games: it’s a tragic thing. Whatever way you look at it, it is a desperate situation. Since four years ago, we have kept losing. To improve, the only thing we can do is to win, and for now, we have not.”

Bargnani, 27, has taken plenty of grief in Toronto as a scapegoat for the team’s ongoing struggles, and the former No. 1 draft pick is a frequent trending topic on the rumor mill. He wasn’t on the floor Friday night for the Raptors’ resounding 95-74 victory over the visiting Dallas Mavericks because of a torn ligament in his right elbow and a strained right wrist sustained Monday night at Portland. He could be out for more than a month.

The win snapped Toronto’s six-game losing skid and got the Raps just their fifth win in 24 games.

Casey’s beleaguered club will continue to try to turn things around, to string together some wins and make their perimeter-shooting big man eat his words.

If, indeed, they really were his.


  1. Rap fan 2 says:

    Another two cents. Look, we need to have a stable management team and coaching system. We can’t keep changing the GM every five years which results usually in a new coaching system as well. That’s crazy!! I think both Brian and Dwayne are doing a great job. We should spend max money on player development personnel and coaching.

  2. Rap fan 2 says:

    Here’s my two cents. What I noticed is that Bargs has not really improved this year. Is he trying to improve every year? Perhaps he’s hit his potential. If you stay the same in the NBA then you are actually regressing. Does he fit coach Casey’s system? Recently, in the last 5 games the Raptors are playing together defensively and offensively. Earlier, on the offensive end the ball would get stuck with little movement and flow. If the ball gets stuck with Bargs and he’s struggling and shooting 7 of 21 we are in trouble. That’s way too many shots for him. He should be getting maybe more like 12 shots and run more plays for Jonas, Amir or Ed in the paint. If we can’t get a good piece and or a good draft pick for Bargs we still have the amnesty option to make good use of.

  3. Bob M says:

    Well, Bargnani is not a player without skill. When you lose all the time, year after year, you lose motivation. The big contract will hold a trade back, but he will start scoring at a high rate again. The Raps have talent, but they are young and lack balance.

  4. Giallo says:

    Bargnani did said those words but is grilled as if he is the only one responsible for it, he calles spade a spade, currently Toronto is having the records its game deserves. Being the no. 1 pick makes people think one shall raise the world and turn it over day in day out, it is not the case with Bargnani but has been even worse with a lot of no.1 picks in the past, before and after him (Kwame Brown is the first name came to mind). Reading the tone of his words (I am italian and I am Roman born like him and he was not speaking dialect) I hear frustration and willingness to change the bad path with which the season started.
    If anyone in Toronto feels offended by his words well may be the offended fellow is blind or he believes is fun the situation they are in, in that case continue like this.
    BTW strangely they won two in a row when Calderon orchestrates the offense and Lowry is sitting out (and Bargnani perfomances last year with Calderon on the driving seat were not critized that much).

  5. jteeth says:

    What’s wrong with him saying that? It is right as it shows in their division they are at the bottom!!!!!

  6. inperspective says:

    I can appreciate why outside NBA fans may look at Bargnani’s 15-16 points average and think the Raptors fans are complaining too much…BUT what you don’t understand is that Bargnani is VERY inconsistent on offence…4 points here, 21 points there, another 4 points in triple overtime, all the while NOT grabbing any rebounds and letting players go straight to the basket putting teammates in danger of foul trouble. He doesn’t move on the offensive end, just stands at the 3-point line as if a force field stops him from moving closer.

    Bargnani was drafted #1, Barnani was branded the star of the team, and Bargnani is making $10+ million dollars A YEAR, more than anyone else on the team. Rather than be the “so-called” star of the team he supposed to be based on his paycheck and take responsibility for the team losing (regardless of whether it’s mainly his fault or not) this guy goes and disses the team. It’s just respect for your teammates and the game…..someone who plays lazy on the court but plays the most minutes and makes the most money SHOULD NOT be dissing the team without dissing himself while he’s at it.

    • Random Fan says:

      I agree with this comment and have watched Raptors for quite some time as I live in Toronto

      Bargnani also lacks creativity, energy and hustle in games as if it doesnt matter whether they win or not. As the team captain, he should be the one to motivate the team. Most of the time I see him walk to the bench and sit down while Jose is getting the team motivated during timeouts. (And I don’t think his answers during the interview is a way to encourage the team)Therefore he’s putting negativity to the team and the team under performs. Then it’s a rollercoaster ride with Lowry not trusting his teammates and takes on the game by himself.

      Of course, coaching is a bit mystifying when the games is within 5 pts or less, Bargnani is on the floor when it is known that Jose Bargnani and Demar are not the best defensive line up so that contributes to their woes.

      But hey, Bargnani is injured now, the line up is similar to last season’s when he was injured. Raps just picked up their 1st back to back wins with added depth in Ross, Anderson, JV, and great performance from Ed Davis. So hopefully they can pick up some quality wins over the next 2 weeks and perform how they are expected to be

  7. Party says:

    all these comments Are the reason why Toronto could never win.
    Vai Andrea. Get away from Toronto.

  8. Ben says:

    There are crazy comments here. First, what Bargnani said is not bad. Bargnani said, “we are PRETTY much the worst team in the NBA”. Any NBA player who believes they should be better than their record will say this. If anything this will motivate him and his teams. Second, people are saying bargnani is a draft bust. Are you kidding me? Draft busts are kwame Brown, Adam Morrison, Darko Milicic, Derrick Williams, Thabeet. Bargnani is an excellent basketball player. This season does not show it. People are quick to forget other seasons. Yeah its debatable if he shouldnt be 1st overall, but hands down definitely top 5. and over course every Raptors fan is quick to throw all the blame on one player. Bargnani should be blamed but not for everything. Casey needs to be fired.

  9. Brett says:

    I can’t believe we took Bargnani over LaMarcus Aldrige smh.

  10. OCfromTO says:

    oh I meant “no one” lol my bad!

  11. OCfromTO says:

    Please don’t blame the coach!! The players are playing way below their standards, know one is playing defence and way to many turnovers. I’ve been saying this way before the season started, TRY to trade Bargnani and Caldaron for Draft Picks. Let the young core of guys play it out this season and start fresh for next year. FIRE the GM after!! Toronto is a GREAT city but management has slowed this Franchise from moving forward.

  12. yari says:

    No mistakes in translation at all…..and on top of that, the one that is posted abeve here, is not even the worst part of the interview.

  13. tyrone says:

    The raptors should try to go for lottery now or trade Barg. Go for Shambazz!, Noels, or Cody Zeller.

  14. tyrone says:

    Trade Bargnani, this guy’s a bust, even though he told the truth.

  15. Annynomous RAW GM says:

    Bargnani is forever the biggest waste of a 1st overall draft pick and a huge waste of $50 million dollars. He has certain fans blind defending his and they are just bigger fools like Bargnani. I would rather see him AMNESTIED and we shall see what team dares to pick him up because the 29 NBA teams saw Andrea’s true colors. A lazy 7 footer that doesn’t believe in rebounding or defense. He is one of those reasons why the Raptors are cursed why now. He was the main reason why Sam Mitchell was fired after and 8-9 start and why Chris Bosh left for a winning team. Bargnani, B.Colangelo, Richard Peddie & Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment(Worst Sports Owners) are the main reasons why Raptors can never win. All I am saying is this. Bargnani has proved that he does NOT belong in the NBA!!!

  16. aaron says:

    lol i live in toronto, ive watched Raptors games…and Bargnani is garbage and should be traded to anyone who will take him, behind calderon he;s the most useless player on the team…hes the reason raptors cant win…cuz he cant rebound or play defense

  17. Kevin says:

    Bargnani is the former number 1 pick!!!! and he he can’t even score 22 points a game or even ten rebounds?? ed davis started vs the nets and picked up 24 points and 12 rebounds, and hes the 12th pick? Bargnani needs to watch his mouth..

  18. Ttggggg says:

    Bargnani is the worst player raptors ever had

  19. wakaloooka says:

    They are the worst team in basketball so whats the problem with the comment

  20. wakaloooka says:


  21. Arky says:

    What he is quotes as saying is pretty true; after all, while the Raptors have had some injury issues, the only worse team is the Wizards who have far more injury excuses than Toronto. And if Toronto players or management wants to protest they’re not pretty much the worst team in the NBA, they’re in denial.

    The sad thing is that Toronto looked on paper like they could fight for an 8th seed. Even with their early injuries, they looked on paper like they’d be competitive. Instead they look like a mess. Whatever Casey did last year to have their defence working well (even Bargnani, when fit, was defending decently) has completely unravelled this year.

  22. steven master says:

    I’m Italian and my English is not perfect… but i want to tell you that he says that his team the Toronto Raptors is the worst in NBA, but the reason is the low performance of the team firstly himself… Nothing of special he wants only to motivate his team

  23. boyscout says:

    What’s wrong with telling the truth these days?
    Blame it on bargnani? It’s always the coaching!

  24. hoop says:

    Kleiza should get more minutes, his numbers are good!

  25. Tom says:

    It’s largely Bargnani’s fault for playing so poorly, and they have had a tough schedule with several 1 pt losses and OT’s. That plus constant injury problems. I’m sure they’ll come back from this. Detroit/Washington/Bobcats/Kings/NO are all worse.

  26. suley says:

    so if the NBA is Not Rigged how did Hornet get the number one darft after trading chris paul so amek happen for the rtaptor or you going to wait til raptor are owned by The NBA eh???? Mr David Stern just like New York Knicks

  27. Federico says:

    No misquotes, that’s exactly what the guy said (just heard the original audio) and thinks. But well…is he any wrong?

  28. suley says:

    FYI if Andrea Bargnani said he realy meant he was useless player and soft time to rebuild the team or move on and take the time to USA cause we tired of hope for talent even when we get them they perfect and move to bigger market WHAT was the Lock Out was for !!!!!

  29. suley says:

    am long time fan of the raptors but to be honest they are joke of the league because they get useless player over paid them and stupid coaches that cant coche what do you expect Mr David time for you to speak or get ONLY NBA team in Canada new talent Player

  30. Gius says:

    Maybe he was not misquoted, ok, but the interview was completely unfair. Basically the guy was just trying to get some words to write a “Bargnani wants to be out of Toronto” title. Which he didn’t get, but he wrote as if (very poor journalism, if I you ask me) One of the questions was if he felt like a “scapegoat” and he wasn’t afraid to be booed had he played home against the Nets (!!!)
    Bargnani answered about how he felt, saying that 1) Toronto has troubles as a team, it’s not just up to him, and he wouldn’t be happy of scoring 50 a night without wins 2) he doesn’t care about trades, because he can’t control them, and he only want top focus on his game and WINS for Toronto, because it’s what he cares about and what he is paid for 2) he of course in not apathic and very upset with the Raptors results. Maybe he exaggerated a little bit (are they ONLY the second or third worse over the last 4 years?), but he was answering HONESTLY to someone who was basically asking “how do you feel” – DAMN, how do you want me to feel?
    I’m an italian native speaker and have been a free lance journalist for a while, and I can tell you that while Andrea was honest and loyal in his answers, the article is not. Maybe it’s just a young guy trying to reach nba.com homepage (which has Gazzetta’s website as its italian partner). He managed to do that, but if I was Andrea I wish I could meet this guy in person after he pulled this kind of joke over the phone…
    Overall, as they say in Rome 🙂 “much ado about nothing”

  31. Danny says:

    You know the media..

  32. Jeff says:

    There’s no “out of context” or bad translations, he said that at all. The point is, Andrea is right. The Raptors are perhaps the worst managed franchise out there right now. They did good by signing Calderon, Parker, Garbajosa along with picking Bargnani, and with Bosh it was a good team, but after that… J. O’neal, then Marion, Turkoglu, T.J. ford for Hibbert, Barbosa, they lost players like Jack, Delfino, Humphries, Bosh, (I add Belinelli too) and now what they have are just selfish shooters like Lowry, who’s good anyway, DeRozan and Ross. Bargnani’s not the franchise player the Raps need, but they’re quickly turning into the old Vancouver Grizzlies, plus their next draft pick is only a top-three protected one. Long road ahead…

  33. yucca says:

    Here is an audio of Bargnani’s interview with Gazzetta:


    anyone with even minimal knowledge of Italian will confirm that “we are pretty much the worst team in the NBA” is the most accurate translation of what Bargnani said. Bargnani was neither misquoted nor taken out of context, as this audio confirms.

  34. yucca says:

    Here is an audio of Bargnani’s interview with Gazzetta:


    anyone with even minimal knowledge of Italian will confirm that “we are pretty much the worst team in the NBA” is the most accurate translation of what Bargnani said. Bargnani was neither misquoted nor taken out of context, as this audio confirm.

  35. Latrina says:

    there’s somebody killing him want for a small mistake … He should have said second worst …. but if you have seen the raptors this season, everyone can understand that he just told the truth

  36. willie says:

    bargnani is right, they are pretty much the worst team… ‘pretty much’ means only a few wins more than the wizards…

  37. ClipperFan says:

    A journalist misspelling a word. The irony.

  38. Giacomo says:

    Well, I am Italian. I did read the Italian interview. The translation is 100% perfect. It is clear that they try to calm down the situation claiming “lost in translation” issues. Anyway, the Raptors are playing really bad, Bargnani is playing bad and he will be out for a while.
    His contract is quite big, considering his figures. Hard seeing somebody embarking him, unless Raptors use amnesty clause on him which is highly unlikely. However, according to Kevin Nielsen, Raptors did not use amnesty clause so far (http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/2012/07/06/nielsen_nba_amnesty_candidates/)

  39. surlydrivein says:

    before bargnani criticizes his team and organization he should show some consistency on the floor and effort in the off-season. His game has regressed not improved since last year. His output varies from quarter to quarter, never putting in a complete game. He’s surrounded by a coach and GM that have continued to show faith in him by paying him well and giving him minutes during his uninspired play… just to be thrown under the bus. THROW THIS BUM OUT OF TOWN when his contract is over, and lets tank next season and hope for andrew wiggins

  40. c says:

    i mean not really a raptor fan not really a barngnani fan, toronto is an ill city though, just trying to say im not bias here, but i would imagine that he said something more along the lines of they are one of the worst teams in the league right now in terms of stats or wins or what not not actually just bashing his team, and was there no follow-up explanation or other comment stwords the subject afterwards he just said “we are the worst” and that was it, he made no clarifications of his own, a little strange to me. also the dude was the #1 pick drafted by toronto has been playing for them his whole career and suits up every night why would he bash them now.
    but at the same time i read some comments that were like “im italian, iu heard the italian version and he said exactly that”, so idk.


  41. abchome says:

    The Raptors are indeed one of the worst NBA teams so far this season. I don’t see any problem saying this, not with Bargnani using the word “we” and taking his share of blame implicitly.

  42. karl fredericks says:

    Well technically they are not the worst, they are the second worst. As a long-time unfortunate Raptor fan I can say this is the most dysfunctional Raptor team I have ever seen.

    The entire problem with the Organization was summed up in Utah last week. The Raptors jumped to an early lead, and, noting Utah was missing two of their key players, our two in-house play by play commentators remarked that : clearly the Raptors had the talent advantage ” The Raptors went on to lost the game by 32 points. If we clearly have the talent, then perhaps we need to look beyond the players.

    I have no doubt that Bargnani said exactly what he was quoted to say. He was right. The Raptor’s reaction to the quote was naturally denial………. A Franchise in denial.

  43. guido says:

    the italian website hosts the original audio, the translation is absolutely correct and fair

  44. QuestionMark says:

    First Bargnani says he is the best player on the team, and now he says the Raptors are the worst team in the league…Get him out of Toronto already. Ed Davis has already proven he can give you quality minutes, he just needs the time to play, and certainly he can play better defense than Bargnani.

  45. Sixers Fan says:

    Hopefully Bargs is heading to Los Angeles this year, that way the Raptors can show their true potential.

  46. 4dawyn says:

    bargnani shouldve realized that HE IS THE MAIN REASON why his team is the WORST team in NBA right now…

    • marchese says:

      i agree with you 100 %, plus i’m Italian and i can say without a doubt that the translation mirrors to perfection what is written on our newspaper