The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Note to Colangelo: F**k pride!

Posted by Arsenalist on January 22, 2008

First of all, I have to give props to Raps Fan for actually doing a video podcast and revealing his mug on the internet. See, I could never do that, I was stepped on as a child and have the disfigurements to prove it. You may hear my high-pitch voice in the podcasts but my Quasimodo looks will never be revealed.

On to matters, I was going to write a deep post about how Colangelo might have fumbled by taking Bargnani as the #1 pick and I started my post like this:

I’m in favor of having a camera entirely focused on Colangelo and Gherardini any time Bargnani is in the game. I’m positive that with every error he commits and every fundamental thing he does wrong, there’ll be a look of slight disgust on Colangelo’s face while Gherardini will force himself to keep a straight face and pretend that this was all supposed to happen. Yes, it was all supposed to happen this way. It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback with the draft and rip players who didn’t pan out while blasting their GMs for their selection, but this isn’t one of those cases. This is a case of a GM (and his influential friend) reaching out into a pool of talent from where there has only been one truly great player to come out. Now that would’ve been an acceptable choice if 2006 wouldn’t have been one of the better draft years of recent memory and there wasn’t any surefire talent available locally. But there was, and the Raptors said, “Naaaah, not good enough”.

After writing so much I realized that there was nothing I could say that hadn’t already been said or that the people that read this blog wouldn’t already know, so I stopped right there. But I may as well conclude my thoughts by saying that we did choose a project over a sure thing and are suffering the growing pains as warned by Bryan Colangelo as soon as the pick was made. But I don’t imagine that the needed “patience” Colangelo had called for would be of such extreme levels. Let’s look at Bargnani’s box scores over the last few games, if you have a weak heart, don’t click on the link.

Games like these don’t call for patience, they call for forbearance and submission. Now if you bring up this sensitive subject up with Colangelo he’s bound to attribute these struggles to a young European player coming in to the moshpit that is the NBA and having expected trouble in adjusting. But deep down even he must know that things aren’t going according to plan. No matter what he tells Bob McCowan and the media, he must know that this was not supposed to happen. Even Maurizio Gherardini, the architect of the Raptors (somebody remind me how great he is again), couldn’t have expected Andrea Bargnani to struggle so badly that even the staunchest of supporters are now raising an eyebrow at the selection.

I’m positive that the Raptors aren’t going to trade him, not this year, not the next. The reason isn’t even basketball related, the Raptors brass might be willing to give Andrea all the time in the world to find his game wherever that might be. Even if they’ve come to realize that his ceiling was vastly overestimated and that his fundamentals aren’t where they should be, they’re willing to stick through their pick and the reason is pride. And as Ving Rhames put it in Pulp Fiction:

“That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck Pride!”

And that’s exactly what Bryan Colangelo needs to do, he needs to fuck pride and do what’s best for this team. And this unpaid blogger and hardcore fan is saying that it might be time to salvage what’s left of the remains and see how we can increase Bargnani’s value and deal him for something worthwhile. It’s an avenue that needs to be explored. Perhaps it might just be a change of scenery that does the trick for him, maybe he needs a coach like Pat Riley who’ll make him run 100 suicides after every scrimmage where he doesn’t grab 10 rebounds. Whatever it is that will get him out of his funk isn’t happening in Toronto, we’ve tried everything that we can to get him out of his slump and nothing seems to work. These thoughts of him playing the 3 so he can utilize his “quickness” is bullshit, he will get eaten alive on defense and still won’t be able to grab boards because he’ll be playing against more agile players who on top of everything else, play harder than him.

At this point in the season, I don’t even give a shit if he plays well or not as long as he rides the pine if he’s hurting the team. If he’s going to stink things up I want him playing 10 minutes, not 25. Kudos to Sam Mitchell and his quick yank and don’t give me this shit about volume minutes.

Enough about Bargnani!

I always read Michael Grange and Doug Smith‘s blog hoping to find some insight into the Raptors’ player relationships, team camaraderie, what players think of other players in the league and other such insights that only people with media credentials have access to. And although Grange’s blog is pretty good, I’ve always been disappointed with both of them when it comes to providing some interesting insights. For example the Forderon debate, what do players think of it? What really is Sam Mitchell’s day-to-day relationship with Bargnani? Seeing how they sit courtside, the least they could do is tell us what some of the strategies Sam talked about on the sidelines? What was somebody’s reaction when they were taken out of the game? What does Maceo Baston think of himself? You know, shit that we as fan can’t see for ourselves. Anybody can come up with lame ratings.

We have two huge games coming up with Washington right after we play Boston and Milwaukee and judging by the way they manhandled Dallas, I’ll be very thankful to come out 1-1. This team might be better without Arenas (I know, stupid thing to say), the ball is moving through everybody’s hands and usually ending up with either Butler, Stevenson and Jamison, all fine scorers. The Raptors will have trouble against the trio’s athleticism and the size of Brendan Haywood (who we passed over for Michael Bradley when trying to address the inside-presence need, go figure). Assuming we actually go 2-2 in the final three games of the month (an optimistic assumption) we’ll come out 7-6. I know, it’s disappointing.

It’s hard for me to get excited about the dunk contest because the best dunker of the century is still healthy and sitting on the sidelines. This will be the first dunk contest I’ll actually tune into since the VC days and the reason is of course Jamario Moon. If you look at his competition so far, I’d actually say that he’s got a pretty good shot of winning this thing, the primary competition might come from a motivated Gerald Green who’s still bitter about Rob Babcock passing him over. Twice.

I’ll be missing Friday’s game because I’m off to New York for the weekend (not my decision). If one of you would be kind enough to do a guest post for the blog, just email me by filling out this form. Although I can’t pay you, I will be thankful.

Later. Feed.

20 Responses to “Note to Colangelo: F**k pride!”

  1. Bryan Colangelo said

    I’m starting to lean this way myself…

  2. Raps Fan said

    thankfully i’m not so incredibly ugly, people can’t look at me for 13 minutes or so without grimacing, lol.

    i agree that pride is hurting any decision colangelo makes about bargnani, but it might go deeper than that. by calling his development/transition in the nba expected, you still give him some value so when the right deal comes along, you can ship the guy out, for something better. then, when the other team realizes bargs isn’t so good, colangelo looks like a genius.

    as far as shipping out tj, i would agree, but how much value does an undersized, massively injured point guard have who is owed $10.5mill until the end of next season? i really think calderon is gone, don’t know why, but I have a feeling.

  3. Raps Fan said

    on another note, i like writing articles that aren’t game related so much better!

  4. Crank said

    Raps Fan, quit TJ hating. We need him more than you think, just ask Calderon how important he is to the team or ask Bosh or Mitchell. We’re about to go .500 in an easy month with Calderon at PG, he needs help, he’s not thaaaaat good.

  5. cuzoogle said

    I agree, I think TJ will solve a lot of the problems if and when he comes back. People forget he was having a break out season as well. His speed is so key.

    when the offense is stagnent at least TJ can bust open a game with his ability to create for himself.

    He looks good in a helmet as well.

  6. PapiJulio said

    Sam…. put Bargnani on the bench!!! Please! Your killing him now! His value is crashing worse then ‘Black Monday’! Maybe Bargnani need some good Canadian PUSSY. Come on! Someone hook this guy up!

    Once again Canadian fans, excluding some, tried to pamper, hold his hand, telling Bargnani it’s ok. We give the glory too quick in Canada. The Canada population that understands basketball, about 2% and I think most are here, don’t have enough of a voice. Most beleive the media hype, and the media hyped Bargnani. I know he got the #1 pick and the media will be all over that but….. Players should earn stardom, not given it will no work! Bargnani work ethics are probably shot right now. The fans put him on a pedestal. After last year he probably thought things were going to be fine and never took this year serious. Well guess what Bargnani………’s time to put some serious overtime in at the office and sharpen your skills!!!

    !!!! Don’t crawl under a rock Bargnani!!!!!
    !!!GET IT DONE!!!!

    ………….I’m also starting to loose hope……………

    If he can overcome all this he’ll be a better player away! Tough Love!

  7. memoIhad said

    I still, desperately, am holding hope for Bargnani, I really want him to succeed. But every game he does the same things over and over again, and seems to be regressing instead of progressing.

    Well mayyybe this might help, just maybe:,62770

    Damn it Bargnani, prove us wrong!!!

  8. PsychicSpy said

    The inevitable “Bargs Is A Bust” post is here. This calls for the obligatory reference to the Brazilian Beast:

    Career Stats/48 min

    Games Min/G Reb TO PF Points

    Bargs 102 24.1 7.4 3.0 5.6 21.0
    Hoffa 139 11.4 11.8 3.4 9.2 11.8

    Hoffa, with his 1.25 inch vertical “leap”, was a FAR better rebounder than Bargs. Turnovers similarly bad. Hoffa was a world-class Foul Machine with a brain the size of a peanut. Even the points differential is surprisingly small.

    Bargs was touted as a difficult matchup at C for years
    to come. Something completely different… like a 1D SF is of no use to the Raps… and they may as well cut their losses. McCown thinks Colangelo has already caved… and will soon swap for someone else’s “talented bust” to clear the slate.

    The whole thing is beyond bizarre. Enough about “Il Mago”.

  9. Sam is COY said

    Crank > how much do we win with TJ and Dixon/DMart? On that note, how many hits does it take to make TJ retire? Do you seriously think with TJ’s style of play that he isn’t going to get inured again? Can you please tell me how many times he’s played a full season in his career, and why he was traded away? If you’re going to do this TJ/Caldy reference, you might as well name another PG that we’d be able to afford or trade for. Heck, if I was Caldy, I’d go somewhere else just to see how the team fares. Mike James anyone?

    I can’t think of anything nice or positive to say about Bargs. Sorry guys/gals.

  10. Crank said

    For what it’s worth I’ll still take Bargs over Hoffa. Not saying much.

    Sam is COY – TJ’s injury is exaggerated. He didn’t even get injured in the Horford incident, it was more precaution than anything. If anybody got hit like that they’d be out with a stiff neck for a week or so, TJ’s taking longer because of fear more than anything. His style of play will not change, he’s not that type of player.

    Enough about his “style of play”. WTF does that mean anyway, you’re talking like he dives head first into the ground on every play, his aggressiveness is confused with danger too often.

    I’m still of the belief that TJ is on the outs for the reasons you mentioned but he’ll end up having a great career and will be injury free. NOTE: He’s not playing with broken bones as some here might believe.!

  11. Sam is COY said

    Crank > “style of play” for TJ would mean, aggressive (as you mentioned), go-to-the-basket VS really, really big guys. It’s not a knock. It’s what got TJ here to begin with, and it’s what fans expect to see. You love it, I love it, all Raps favs love it.

    The scare is that TJ, it’s been reported, has a history of “spinal ailments”. It doesn’t make him a bad player. Far from it. In fact, it makes him “special” and “tough”, and all these other pro-sports words that try to show how an athlete has “heart”.

    Now the injuries he’s had over the years are “stingers”, which is a spine injury. Not a broken bone. Do I want to see TJ succeed? Of course! It’s an amazing feel good story, and he is an amazing athlete. I hope he comes back.

    In a weird twisted way, I kind of want to see Calderon traded or leave via free agency, just to see how his lack of defense would work on a different team.

  12. AltRaps said

    You can bet your left nut that Colangelo is too gutless to trade Bargs. Trade away a #1 to a team that might have a real coach that will set a fire under his ass? No way. It’s one of the reasons that they are bringing in guys now to coach the oversized shooting guard. They will throw millions at this guy to ensure he isn’t labelled a mistake. I can easily picture Colangelo going upstairs to his office after a game and just leaning back in his chair saying “what have I done!??!”

    I don’t think you’ll ever see player secrets in the Grange or Smith blogs. Smith, especially, is very old school. It’s one reason Vince went to him exclusively when he officially asked for a trade. It’s also a reason why Mitchell never uses him as roadkill. He reports the facts and doesn’t “out” anybody who does say something on the downlow. Personally, I think the folks over at Posted Sports would be my bet to let something out of the bag. I personally love their post-shootaround segments.


  13. Raps Fan said

    Crank, I am so not a TJ basher…dude…i still think tj should be the starter…i was just saying his value isn’t as high as calderon right now, because of injuries.

    the comments in that yahoo article are the best..i’d trade bargnani and bits for gasol anyday…wouldn’t even hesitate.

    comparing bargs to hoffa is a bit much, no?

    i can’t stand any of the raptor writers…im only down with y’all…i’m gonna have to check out posted sports tho.

  14. PapiJulio said

    Ya know, a win tomorrow would silence a lot of speculations. Wishful think, I know. A 5% chance at this point.

    How can anyone make a call on TJ condition? It’s all rumors at this point. Time will tell. I’m sure BC doesn’t want to jump the gun, but he is being held at gun point. He is being forced to think VERY hard because of ‘Lack of Rebounding’,(Who Could that Be?), ‘Injuries’ with the Point Guard, and lack of ‘Tough Defence’.

    The big problem is any of these issues could resove themself tomorrow with no intervention, except a big man coach! Roko-Leni Ukic is on the back burner… how can he be promised anyhting with TJ a question mark and could come back 100% anyday.

    I think Raptors fans should be worshiping Calderon, Moon and BOSH! Bosh you expected it form….. but without Calderon OR Moon this season would have been REALLY UGLY. Stats only prove so much… Calderon needs to stopped being labeled as a fluke. He’s no lock at defence but he stay’s with his man and plays defence! He’s a PG not a defencive specialist. He’s got winning in his blood…

    Gold Medal 1998 European Junior Championship
    Bronzes Medal 2000 European Under-20 Championship
    Fifth 2002 World Championships Spanish National Team
    Team Captain 2004 Summer Olympics
    Gold Metal 2006 FIBA World Championship
    Silver Metal 2007 FIBA European Basketball Championship

    Where is the love people??

  15. cuzzy said

    ah you gotta love off days. Gives everyone a chance to over analyze everything.

    I pretty much agree with most of what is said here and to be honest I am not that worried.

    The regular season does not mean that much.

    Ideally the Raps should just worry about getting healthy and ready for the playoffs.

    A # 4 slot would work but it is not the end of the world if they start on the road.

    BC will add a rebounder that nobody expects at the deadline and Bargs WILL turn it around.

    I keep reminding people that 2 seasons ago Calderon looked lost and lacked confidence. Look at him now.

    Bargs just has to fight it off and have a few good games. He will get there and I am glad they are finally looking for someone to teach him.

    Laker fans and Kobe ripped Bynam apart last year. They get Kareem to work with him and bam.

    Bargs did not get to go to college and work with a teaching coach. He is so young and still growing.

    Yes I am frustrated at watching him but it will come.

    There is no way they can deal him elsewhere and watch him explode.

    They key is not to hide him at the end of the bench like the Pistons did with Darko.

    It is all about confidence….

    I am really enjoying the Raptors blog community. Thanks for all the visits and comments guys.

  16. SAMisCOY said

    PapiJulio > I like Calderon. Like you said, how much worse could it be without Calderon? Instead of enjoying two quality PG’s, we, as fans, wanted to pit one over the other.

    It’s moot as of now, but you also have to understand, a lot of Raptor “fans” grew up watching shoot 1st PG’s, and that is the problem. No one questions Nash for having no “d” (really, aside from maybe Kidd and Billups, you should ask anyone, anywhere, to produce a list of top 10 “defensive” PG’s that can also pass at a high rate, and see who’s on peoples lists).

    All in all, you have to remember that John Stockton, one of the best PG’s ever will never be on most fans list of great players, or even great PG’s. *shrugs* It’s just the way it is –> Allen Iverson, is a star.

  17. Red Rebounder said

    Fuck pride indeed. If that is the reason that BC isn’t going to make a move it’s a shame. Reading through the comments somebody said we should take Pau Gasol for Bargnani + filler which I will doubt Memphis will do. They’re not blind and stupid, at this point if Bargnani is to be traded at best he can fetch somebody else’s problem.

  18. […] yes Andrea “Popeye” Bargnani showed up and showed up big. I should make posts like these more often, maybe it’s a good luck charm. Bargnani singlehandedly kept us in the game in the […]

  19. […] That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.” – Thanks Arse, I know I bit one of your posts from before, but it’s […]

  20. neil said

    what, no comment on the 5-1 drubbing Tottenham doled out to the Ar*enal on this day? ahahaa, disappointing.

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