Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/2/13
Toronto_raptors_vs_4a05
Andrea Bargnani was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2006 and has not developed into the franchise player the Toronto Raptors hoped he would become. The team has had one winning season since he was drafted, and they actually started winning this season after he got hurt. Though he is talented, one of his big problems seems to be his mental toughness. Sam Mitchell coached the Raptors four and a half seasons and led the team to the playoffs twice. He was the team’s coach when Bargnani was drafted, and he says he wasn’t able to coach the Italian player the way he would have liked. During an appearance on “Tim & Sid” on the Fan 590 in Toronto, Mitchell says the organization coddled Bargnani. “I would say my biggest problem with Andrea is I wasn’t allowed to coach Andrea the way I was allowed to coach Jose (Calderon). I was a hard ass on Jose. I was hard on him,” said Mitchell, “but look at the type of player he turned out to be.” Calderon was drafted by the team the year before, and he has developed into a fine point guard. “I was not allowed to be that tough on Andrea because the organization thought he couldn’t take it. My whole thing is, if he can’t take it, then we can’t build around him,” said Mitchell. “No one thought Jose could take it, but look at how Jose did.” Mitchell was asked by the hosts how early the team decided Bargnani couldn’t handle harsh coaching. "Early. I think because he was the No. 1 pick and a lot was invested in him, I thought a lot of people in the organization felt my coaching style would be tough for Andrea." Mitchell would not call Bargnani a draft bust. He says he still believes the Raptors made the right draft choice that year. Mitchell pointed out that the draft class was weak and lacked an obvious game-changer. He says Brandon Roy would have been the top pick if not for his knees, and that the team debated between LaMarcus Aldridge, who went second overall, and Bargnani. Mitchell says they went for the most talented player, and he says Bargnani still is that guy. The problem with Bargnani, he believes, is that Andrea doesn't have the desire to be great. "It just doesn't seem like he has the passion for the game. It doesn't seem like it's important enough to him," Mitchell said. "If you go by talent, Andrea is the most talented guy. He has size, he has quickness, he can shoot the ball. The question with Andrea is how bad does he want it? That's something you can't measure." Mitchell is disappointed that Andrea hasn't reached the potential that he has. Maybe if the organization allowed the coach to be hard on him, things would have been different. Toronto went 4-17 in games Bargnani played this season. They have gone 7-3 in games he hasn't played, and they've won six of their last seven. As Mitchell said, if Bargnani returns from his elbow injury and the team begins losing again, they will know what the common denominator is. H/T Nate Jones
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Padres reportedly making progress on Cashner trade

NFL Network to stream on PlayStation Vue

Report: Eagles’ Nigel Bradham charged for assaulting cabana boy

Rudy Gay underwent minor Achilles procedure this summer

Bashaud Breeland brought puppies to Washington camp

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker