Andrea Bargnani says he would have played “for free” to prove himself with Nets

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It’s hyperbole when someone says “I would do my job for free.” I don’t care how much you love your job — there are chefs that live to cook, but take the money out of the equation and they will become bankers or barristas to pay the bills and cook at home. To use another easy example, I absolutely love my job, but I would not do it for free. I’ve got bills to pay just like everyone else.

So when the Nets new stretch four Andrea Bargnani says he would play for free, we all know that’s not literally true.

But I understand the sentiment that he feels he has a lot to prove after some rough times with the Knicks, where he played just 71 games the last two seasons (after a poor trade to bring him in from Toronto).

Bargnani talked about it with Italian newspaper il Fatto Quotidiano, as translated by Nets Daily.

“I would have done it for free because the money at this time does not matter,” said Bargnani who’s made $72 million in his NBA career…  “I just hope I can have a decent playing time, scoring as many points and exceed goals,” he told interviewer Malcom Pagani . “I do not think I was lucky (last year). Luck is good health that allows you to prove your talent at the right time. The rest is the work. I made risky choices, indeed extremely risky and I intend to continue to take risks. I accept all the criticism, it is living in a beautiful dream, I know myself. “

Bargnani will get his chance to prove himself. The Nets are going to start Thaddeus Young at the four, but behind him is a couple of guys who are looking for another chance to prove themselves — Thomas Robinson and Bargnani. Maybe a little Bojan Bogdanovic gets mixed in, depending on the rotation.

That said, don’t we know who Andrea Bargnani is at this point? What is he going to prove? After nine NBA seasons and with him set to turn 30 next season, he’s pretty much established. He hasn’t played more than 42 games in a season for four years. While he can catch and shoot the three ball (36.6 percent last season) he doesn’t strike fear in teams when he puts the ball on the floor (he often settles for midrange jumpers, more than half his shots were from 10 feet out to the arc last season, and he shot 45 percent on those). His defense is terrible.

We’ll see how much he can contribute in Brooklyn. But it’s safe to say he will not be giving them back any paychecks.