Bargnani with the Raptors
|No. 7 – Toronto Raptors|
October 26, 1985 |
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||250 lb (113 kg)|
|NBA Draft||2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Toronto Raptors|
|2002–2003||Stella Azzurra Roma|
|Career highlights and awards|
Andrea Bargnani Italian pronunciation: [anˈdrɛa barɲˈɲani], nicknamed "Il Mago" (translated to "The Magician"), (born October 26, 1985 in Rome, Italy) is an Italian professional basketball player with the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. He was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. He is a power forward/center standing at 213 cm (7 ft 0 in) and weighing 113.4 kg (250 lbs). Prior to his NBA career, Bargnani played for Benetton Treviso in the Italian Lega A and the Euroleague. In his first two seasons with the Raptors, he helped the team reach the NBA Playoffs, including the Atlantic Division title in 2006–07.
Bargnani began his career in 2002–03 with Stella Azzurra Roma in Italy's Serie B2 division, averaging 13.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 23 games. He then signed with Lega A side Benetton Treviso for the 2003–04 season and played there until 2006.
In 2003–04, he posted averages of 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10 games in his first Lega A season with Benetton. He made eight appearances in Euroleague action, recording 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds an outing. Incidentally, Bargnani faced his future team, the Toronto Raptors, on 20 October 2003 in a pre-season game at the Air Canada Centre. He tallied 13 points, five rebounds, one steal and two blocks in 22 minutes in an 86–83 defeat to the Raptors.
In 2004–05, he averaged 12.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 28 Lega A games for Benetton, and averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 18 Euroleague matches. The next season, he averaged 15.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.8 steals in 47 games for Benetton. He posted a season high of 25 points against Rome. He also shot .528 from the field and .408 from three-point range, and led the Lega A in blocks with 82. In the process, he helped lead Benetton to Italy's Lega A 2006 championship. In the Euroleague, he contributed 10.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, while shooting .558 percent from the floor and .434 from three-point range in 18 games. He posted a season-high 20 points against Panathinaikos and Strasbourg. Bargnani was subsequently named the Euroleague Rising Star, the award given to each Euroleague season's best Euroleague player aged 22 or under, for the 2005–06 season.
Bargnani entered the 2006 NBA Draft and was selected first overall by the Toronto Raptors. On 1 November 2006, in his regular season debut against the New Jersey Nets, in 8 minutes of play he recorded 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks. In the process, he also became the fourth ever Italian-born player to play in the NBA. Like many rookies, Bargnani took some time to adapt to the league and as he slowly improved his game, his confidence and playing time increased. Nonetheless, the home fans soon warmed up to Bargnani; on 7 January 2007, 10,000 Bargnani figurines were given away at Air Canada Centre for the game against the Washington Wizards. As the mid-season approached, Bargnani was selected as NBA's Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month (January 2007), joining teammate Jorge Garbajosa (winner of the award in December 2006) as the sixth Raptors player to win the monthly honor. Together with Garbajosa, Bargnani was also selected to play in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge game. After the All-Star break, Bargnani continued to work on his defence and shooting (averaging 14.3 points per game (ppg) and 3.9 rebounds per game (rpg) in 12 games for the month of February 2007), and he was selected as the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for the second straight time on 1 March 2007. Bargnani became the third Raptor ever to win the award twice, joining Vince Carter and Damon Stoudamire.
On 21 March 2007, Bargnani underwent emergency appendectomy surgery after being taken to hospital following illness experienced after practice the night before. He recovered after about a month, and ended the season, averaging 11.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. His performances were credited as helping the Raptors win their first ever Division title, as well as their first NBA Playoffs berth in five years; Bargnani came in second for NBA Rookie of the Year. In the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Bargnani averaged 11.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg as the Raptors were defeated by the New Jersey Nets 4–2 in the first round. On 8 May 2007, Bargnani and Garbajosa were named to the NBA All-Rookie team.
On 5 October 2007, the Raptors announced they had exercised a third year option on Bargnani, giving a guaranteed NBA contract through the 2008–09 season and retaining a fourth year option for the 2009–10 season. Prior to the 2007–08 season, Bargnani was voted by the general managers of the league as the "international player most likely to have a breakout season". Seemingly asked to play out of position, he was slated to form the front court together with All-Star power forward Chris Bosh, but despite leading the team in scoring for the first couple of games, Bargnani struggled for most of the first half of the season. Notwithstanding his poor form, the Italian was selected to play with the Sophomores in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge during the NBA All-Star Weekend. By the season's end, however, Bargnani was widely criticised for having a poor season. His statistics had gone down, he was not grabbing enough rebounds, was unable to shoot well, got into foul trouble easily and did not drive to the basket enough. He did not feature prominently in the playoffs either—in which the Raptors were eliminated by the Orlando Magic in the first round—and there were even calls for him to be traded.
However, Toronto was not about to give up on Bargnani yet and committed the entire summer coaching him to become a more effective interior player, forcing him to drive to the basket more and settle less for jump shots. The arrival of six-time NBA All-Star Jermaine O'Neal also meant that Bargnani was likely to come off the bench in most games, with Bosh and O'Neal forming the starting frontcourt. During the summer he worked hard on his body, putting up some more weight (adding some 15 pounds of muscle); this work showed his effects in the first games of the regular campaign, when the Italian was more willing to rebound in traffic and drive to the basket. He also seemed to rediscover his shooting stroke, had better shot selection and became a consistent shot-blocker, and he was soon moved to the starting line-up as small forward.
On 21 November 2008, Bargnani recorded a career-high 29 points, as well as 10 rebounds in an overtime loss against New Jersey. After some stumbles in December, he hit good form in January, averaging 21.2 points and 6.7 rebounds over a 15-game stretch as he became the starting center in place for the injured O'Neal, recording a career-high 31 points against Chicago in the process. O'Neal was then traded to Miami during the All-Star break, allowing the Italian to regain his starting spot for the rest of the season. He averaged 19.8, 17.9 and 20.3 points per game for January, February and March respectively, even as Toronto went on several losing streaks and gradually fell out of the playoff race. The Raptors concluded the regular season with 33 wins, and ranked 13th in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Bargnani recorded career-high averages in points per game, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, rebounds and blocks. On 8 July 2009, he signed a contract extension with the Raptors that will pay him US$50 million over five seasons, starting in 2010–11.
Bargnani's form and numbers continued in the 2009–10 season. In the first ten games, the center averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game; by mid-season, he had seven double doubles, a career-high. Toronto struggled at the start of the season, going as low as six games below .500, but reached the midpoint with a 21–20 record. On 2 February 2010, Bargnani scored a career-high 34 points in a loss against the Indiana Pacers; he later scored 33 in a game against the Detroit Pistons. Although Toronto were six games above .500 at one point, their form spiralled downwards after the All-Star break. Coupled with two separate injuries to Chris Bosh, Toronto slid from the fifth seed to the eighth, and were subsequently locked in a race with Chicago for the final spot. That spot was only decided on the final day, when Chicago won their last game and ended the season 41–41, one game ahead of Toronto. On Bargnani's part, he averaged career-highs in points, rebounds, blocks, and minutes.
Toronto's franchise player Chris Bosh opted to leave for Miami as a free agent after his contract with the Raptors was up. As a result, Bargnani became the focal point of Toronto's offense. On 8 December 2010, he scored a career-high 41 points in a losing effort against the New York Knicks.
On Wednesday March 28, 2012 against the Denver Nuggets, Andrea Bargnani scored 26 points and became the 4th player to ever score 6000 points as a Raptor.
Bargnani has played for the Italian junior and under-20 national teams. He competed on the World Select Team at the 2004 Nike Hoop Summit. He also featured in EuroBasket 2007, representing the senior national team. Italy finished ninth in the competition and in six games Bargnani averaged 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 28.7 minutes per game.
Bargnani has drawn many comparisons to German NBA player Dirk Nowitzki, mainly due to his ability to shoot from the perimeter, his mobility despite his size, and his ball-handling skills. Bargnani is also the first European player, sixth non-American player, and second player without U.S. college or high school experience to be drafted first overall, after Yao Ming.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Andrea Bargnani|
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