June 7, 2007
Dr. Greenberg: Chris Bosh was a guy who we grossly underestimated. We never said that he couldn’t do it; we didn’t see how good he could be through the test. He’s one of the very few who I would say we underestimated. In basketball, we underestimated Karl Malone. We didn’t say "don’t draft him," but we didn’t say he was a "can’t miss." We just sort of said, "If he’s got the talent, go ahead." He and Mitch Richmond are the two that I can name that we didn’t see the superstar in them. We saw positive things, but on balance, we said, "It’s neutral. If you love him, go ahead." It wasn’t like, "Stay away from him." ...
Almost as a balance to the Chris Bosh thing: did you read the article about Bargnani? That’s the kind of thing we’re very, very proud of. We did some … I wouldn’t say "arm twisting," because they liked him, but they knew they’d get a lot of criticism for drafting him. I can tell you right now: He will be one of the top eight or ten centers in NBA history. They’re happy with it, we’re happy with it. In fact, a lot of that Raptors team: Mo Peterson was one of our picks, about six or seven kids on that team were our picks.
February 28, 2007
For years, NBA teams have used the Caliper Profile to evaluate potential draft picks. The Caliper is a personality profile used by numerous corporations and organizations to measure one's capacity to excel in specific situations. Over the past 24 years, Caliper has assessed more than 20,000 athletes, including NBA players from Detroit, San Antonio, Denver and Phoenix. Colangelo has long been sold on the system. When he heard how Bargnani measured up, he nearly dropped the phone.
"They said his upside and potential were off the charts," Colangelo says from the tunnel of the Air Canada Centre as Bargnani drains a three against the Cavaliers. "They said, 'Out of all the athletes we've profiled, we've never seen anything like this.' "
The test showed that Bargnani is virtually oblivious to what others think of him. And his tremendous ability to block out such potentially negative pressures enables him to focus completely on the task at hand. So the expectations and anxieties that come with being the No.1 pick, or the only Italian-born player in the league, or even taking a game-winning shot, don't even register with him.
The things that Bargnani was supposedly good at could have been a double-edged sword. Greenberg danced around his Bosh answer. Maybe they thought Bosh lacked the innate confidence of Bargnani, as if that's the only means to success? I don't know. At this point in time, its clear that one player put the work in to better himself physically and skill-wise. As a rookie, was Bosh was one of the skinniest player's I've ever seen rock the Raptor colors, aside from maybe Keon Clark. He also came in as a freshman, the youngest Raptor since ... Tracy McGrady?.
What kind of work does Bargnani put into his weaknesses?
Tue Apr 19 2011
At one memorable point in Bryan Colangelo's end-of-season press conference on Monday, the Raptors GM referred to Andrea Bargnani, the club's starting centre, as "the enigma of enigmas, to you and many." Colangelo called the Italian "far from a perfect player." And he was only getting warmed up.
"I don't know if he's ever going to be a better defensive player than he is. Can he be a better rebounder? Absolutely," Colangelo said of Bargnani. "And that becomes, I believe, a mindset. It's something that we talked about. It's a little late to be having this conversation now, as I indicated to Andrea post-season. We know he can rebound, but he doesn't focus on it. . . . That's a desire thing. And that's something he's going to have to come to grips with."