Andrea Bargnani is already not exactly the most popular guy in Toronto. And that’s putting it kindly. He’s slightly ahead of Gary Bettman on the most hated sports figures list, but that’s about it.
So reports last week that Bargnani told an Italian publication that the Raptors were the worst team (and he would be out three weeks with an elbow injury) did not sit well.
But an emotional Bargnani denies he said that, reports Ryan Wolstat at the Toronto Sun.
“Nobody is satisfied. Not me, not DeMar (DeRozan), not coach, nobody. That was my sentence, (a) pretty good answer to a pretty stupid question. But I think it was an answer that makes a lot of sense,” Bargnani said, clearly angered….
“I’m not going to go over every single crap that was in there, I just wanted to clarify for all you media guys that specific sentence. I’m going to have people look over it and take care of the other stuff, because I don’t think some people can afford to change my words like that, so I’m going to have people taking care of that,” he said, alluding to legal action.
Bargnani joins a long and proud list of athletes who say they were misquoted. Some were, many were not they just wanted out from under what they said. It’s harder with translated items because of the nuance and implications of words in one language that do not translate cleanly to another. The reporter says he has the conversation recorded.
Either way, I’m not sure the Raptors fan base believes Bargnani.
I don’t speak Italian, but I’ll just leave you this from someone who does at the reliable and fantastic Sportando.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.