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Sam Mitchell Claims Raptors Protected Bargnani From Harsh Criticism

Former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said he wasn’t allowed to coach Andrea Bargnani the way he would have liked because the organization felt Bargnani wouldn't be able to handle it.

"I wasn't allowed to coach Andrea the same way I was allowed to coach Jose (Calderon)," Mitchell said. "I was a hard ass on Jose; I was hard on him, but look at the type of player he turned out to be.

"I was not allowed to be that tough on Andrea because within the organization we felt he couldn't take it. And my whole thing was if he can't take it then we can't build around him. And no one thought Jose could take it, and Jose did."

Bargnani hasn't developed as quickly as the Raptors had hoped.

"It's not whether Andrea has talent, the question is Andrea needs to make up his mind and decide how great he wants to be," Mitchell said. "Andrea needs to look in the mirror and decide does he really want to be a good player? Or does he just want to make his money and be one of the guys? It's on him because the opportunity's there.

"He just doesn't seem like he has the passion for the game. It don't seem like it's important enough to him."

Via Mike Johnston/Sportsnet.ca
 

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