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Former Raptors coach Mitchell piles on Andrea Bargnani, too

Jan 4, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT

Raptors Bargnani reacts to a missed basket against the Nets during their NBA basketball game in Toronto Reuters

We told you yesterday how the Toronto Raptors are 8-2 in their last 10 games, and how that neatly coincides with the 10 games Andrea Bargnani has been out.

Now, to be fair, it also coincides with the 10-game soft stretch of the Raptors schedule, but we’re not going to let that get in the way of some good Bargnani bashing. Everyone in Toronto is pretty much done with him, they just need to find a trading partner (and good luck with that).

To add to the piling on, we bring you former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, speaking with Sportsnet.ca.

“I wasn’t allowed to coach Andrea the same way I was allowed to coach Jose (Calderon),” Mitchell told Tim & Sid on Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Wednesday. “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.”

So you’re saying a top pick and guy thought to be a franchise player got special treatment in the NBA? No way. That has never happened before. I’m shocked.

Of course, the flaw here is that Mitchell being a hard a** with Bargnani wouldn’t have changed the way he plays. It didn’t really change Calderon, either, not to burst his bubble. Calderon was 24 his first season in the NBA, had played plenty in Spain where his game was formed, and by his second season when he adjusted to the style of play was putting up solid numbers in the NBA.

But let’s not let that get in the way of some good Bargnani bashing.

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