In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport published over the weekend, Andrea Bargnani spoke about his NBA career and the difficulty of playing in New York with all the media attention. Still, at the end of the day, he chose to stay in the city.
La Gazzetta, Italy's biggest sports newspaper, spoke with Bargnani last week as he was mulling offers. The story was published on Saturday. Then on Sunday, the Nets announced they had signed him to a two-year vets minimum, with a player option in the second year. League sources say Bargnani himself approached the Nets "quite unexpectedly" and at the eleventh hour, as one put it.
According to a Google translation of the article, Bargnani spoke about the challenge of media scrutiny in New York.
"In the Big Apple, journalists are more aggressive," said Bargnani. "At the end of each workout there are 50 of them, always trying to get you into trouble. It's part of my job, not a negative situation or a sacrifice. Otherwise I should change jobs."
His last season in New York, in which he played only 29 games, was filled with "crazy bad luck," he said, adding, "But now it is all behind me." Asked how he;s feeling, the 29-year-old said, "I would say well." Hamstring issues had kept him out of the Knicks last four games.
Bargnani told La Gazzetta that he wanted to win with his next team. "The goal is to play at the highest possible level, the city is an important factor," he said. "For sure, I will go to a strong club. I'm almost 30. I want to win again, play at a high level and have fun."
According to a later report in La Gazzetta, the Kings had offered Bargnani $500,000 more than the Nets could, but he chose Brooklyn because it was a better fit. Bargnani will back up Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, but initially is likely to be behind the Nets newly acquired young bigs.
Bargnani also expressed optimism about the Italian national team's chances in FIBA Europe. He along with Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari will play for the national team.