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

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kings engaging in trade talks for Cousins

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

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

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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