After an interview with Andrea Bargnani conducted by Italian outlet Gazzetta.it made the rounds on Friday, Bargnani immediately wanted to clear things up at practice on Saturday. In the interview, Bargnani was quoted as saying the Raptors were the worst team in the NBA, among other not so pleasant things.
While Bargnani is usually a reserved and very even keel player when speaking to the media, he was extremely passionate on Saturday when the topic came up during his media scrum. The reporter taking the conversation to the topic of the interview couldn’t even get the first question out before Bargnani interrupted to say he wanted to clarify what was written yesterday. While annoyed with being misquoted, he was mostly upset that his teammates and fans saw the quotes. Bargnani said he clarified things with his teammates and coaches prior to practice.
What follows is a transcript of Bargnani’s media scrum about the article where he strongly feels he was misquoted:
Bargnani: So, what came out yesterday was really bad. I was really upset about it.
(gets interrupted because camera guy needed to restart his camera)
Bargnani: What happened yesterday was really bad. I’m not upset about some reporter changing my words because it’s not the first time it happens and it’s not the last time it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen many more times. So I’m not upset about that, and I don’t owe any apologies to nobody because I never say that. But I was really upset about the fact that that got out to the fans, mostly. I was really upset, really sad. And of course, my teammates. I had to explain that I didn’t say that. So, that was the worst part about it. Again, I’m not surprised that somebody changed my words because that’s what usually happens, especially in rough times … I mean, I got no problem with reporters or media with criticism about my game. That’s their job, I respect it, but that kind of stuff don’t really upset me.
Reporter: Can you clarify specifically — did you mean to say this is the worst team in the NBA?
Bargnani: I clarify for you that question even if for me it’s crazy that I gotta clarify something I never said. But I’m going to do it because it’s the right thing to do for the fans. The question was, ‘Are you satisfied with your season so far?’ which is pretty similar to the question you guys asked me the other day in the media room. And I said how can I be satisfied when we got one of the worst records in the league? Nobody in here is satisfied. Not me, not DeMar, not coach, nobody. So that was my sentence. Pretty good answer, pretty stupid question. But I think that was an answer that makes a lot of sense.
Reporter: What about (the quote), “It’s the team that needed a dominant centre more than I do?”
Bargnani: I’m not going to go over every single crap that was in there. I just wanted to clarify for you, for you media guys, that specific sentence. And I’m going to have people look over it and take care of the other stuff because I don’t think some people can afford to change my words like that, so I am going to have people taking care of that.
Reporter: Will you do another interview with them?
Bargnani: I’ll have lawyers take care of it and then I’ll let you know maybe in the future if I’m going to do another interview with them. So I just wanted to clarify that specific sentence that was all out all over the news and it really made me feel really bad. Especially for my teammates and the fans. But I’m not going to go over all the crap because that’s a shame for me also. To go over that stuff, it doesn’t make sense. I’m not going to answer to this kind of stuff, it doesn’t make sense. I didn’t say that, so it’s fine. It’s like somebody accusing you of something that you didn’t do … It doesn’t make sense to me.
Reporter: Coach Casey supported you right away, said they didn’t sound like your words…
Bargnani: Yeah, I’m not surprised about that. The guys in the locker room, they know me. Honestly, they were laughing about it. They were joking around with me about that because of course they didn’t — they knew right away that it was not true. But I think I owe some explanation to the people that don’t know me that well. Again, it came out in a pretty bad way and I couldn’t do nothing about it. Just look at it, hear about it and what can you do? I can only explain this morning to you guys what the things are. But again I don’t owe any apologies because I didn’t say that.