The Nets like what Andrea Bargnani did in Eurobasket. They even posted a gallery of him in the azure blue of the Italian national team this week. Putting aside his numbers, he played particularly well against Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol, as Italian fan Fabrizio Taffuri shows in this compilation of Bargnani's top ten plays.
In truth, he had a better tournament than Bojan Bogdanovic. He averaged 14.8 points (17.7 in games where played 20 or more minutes) and shot 50/40/90 - 50.5 percent overall, 47.6 from three and 92.3 from the foul line.
Now, the Nets are hoping he can replicate that success this season in the NBA. Here's what Billy King said about him on Tuesday when an Italian reporter asked about his FIBA summer.
"I thought he played really well this summer. He shot extremely well. The night he injured his calf, I talked to him that night and the next morning and he said it seemed much better the next day and he got back on the court. I was in contact with him throughout the summer as well as Bojan.
"We’re not looking backwards with him, we’re looking forward. That’s something we told him when we reached out and tried to get him to come here, is you can have a fresh start. We’re not looking at anything you did in Toronto, anything you did in the Knicks. We’re looking at you to come in and be a part of the team. Give us the shooting we know you can hit. Give us the toughness. Don’t worry about living up to anybody else’s expectations but yours."
As Rod Boone writes this Sunday, Bargnani's ability to rebound (pun intended) is one of three key questions from the Nets as they open camp this week.
The Nets have told Bargnani, the former 2006 No. 1 overall pick who's been a colossal disappointment in his nine seasons, to treat this as a fresh start and want him to especially put his frustrating time with the Knicks behind him.
We will start to get answers this week ... and his reaction to Phil Jackson's claims that he was a "tease" and a "malingerer." When Bargnani was informed of the comments last month, he said he would wait until after Eurobasket was concluded before he would respond.
You can be assured early in Monday's proceedings, reporters will ask Bargnani for that response.
- 3 key questions facing the Nets in training camp - Rod Boone - Newsday