UPDATE 7:11 pm: Andrea Bargnani released a statement Wednesday to clarify his comments. Here it is (via the fantastic Holly McKenzie at The Score), you can make of it what you will.
“I wish to personally clarify and correct an inaccurate portrayal of my words that recently appeared in the media. Much of what I said was taken out of context with respect to an entire conversation.
“I want to make clear my love for Toronto and that I consider the city a second home. I never said that I want to leave Toronto and I’m sorry if fans interpreted the inaccuracy that way.
“I am proud to represent Toronto and the Raptors organization. I appreciate what Bryan Colangelo and the organization has done for me during the past five years of my career. I will always continue to work to improve myself as a player in an effort to reward the organization and our fans with the best team possible.”
2:13 pm: If Andrea Bargnani isn’t completely captivated with the city of Toronto, the feeling may be mutual.
The Raptors center that likes to hang out at the three-point line has been doing color commentary on the Italian feed of the Western Conference Finals and he did a segment talking about his NBA career so far.
Which included this quote, according to the Toronto Star.
“I want to stay in Toronto, at least this is the politically correct answer. If (I am) to go somewhere else, I’d like a warm climate city and a team where I can actually play in my role.”
It seems to me Toronto has been pretty accommodating about letting him play his game, but he apparently doesn’t see it that way.
Bargnani also goes and shows there’s an apparent rift between him and GM Bryan Colangelo. A GM who just got a contract extension, by the way. Colangelo after the season called Bargnani “the enigma of enigmas.”
“(Colangelo) had some unfortunate and not very courageous comments about me … The facts are there for everybody to see and judge.”
Does a sober reading of the facts make either Bargnani or Colangelo look good?
There have been reports the Raptors are open to trading Bargnani, but as he is owed $41.5 million over the next four years, that is not going to be easy to do.