In grade 8 I remember getting a Andrea Bargnani jersey for my birthday and wearing it on the first day of school. People thought I was absurd for wanting this guys jersey. Ever since the Raptors drafted him first overall in 2005, he has been bashed and called a NBA Draft bust. Having Bargnani compared to Dirk Nowitizki was one of the only things that kept Raptors fans from losing their minds. He was horrible on the defensive end and for a seven-footer who hardly got any rebounds.
In his rookie season he averaged 11.6 points a game and 3.6 rebounds a game.
At the beginning of last season, through eight games, Bargnani was averaging 22.8 points a game and 6.4 rebounds a game.
A thing to note about Bargnani is that every year in the NBA, he has slowly but surely improved his game. New Raptors coach, defensive specialist, Dwayne Casey has challenged him to at least pick up two rebounds a quarter.
With the new coaching system in place, it will help him significantly improve his game on a daily basis.
Now the question that has been floating around the Toronto media is whether Andrea is considered an "all-star".
Personally, I think he should only be considered an "all-star" If he continues to play at this high level on a CONSISTENT basis.
What separates a great player from an all-star caliber player is consistency. Eight games is too early to tell if he can keep his performance up. Through this short NBA season a lot of things can happen, injuries, fatigue etc.
Every off season or trade deadline tons of people always want Bargnani traded. The thing is that I can guarantee he will never be traded as long as Bryan Colangelo is GM. General Mangers don't like giving up on players they have drafted themselves, especially a first overall pick. It looks bad for them and shouts, "I messed up."
He's almost just a un-athletic version of Kevin Durant, who arguable has a better mid range shot. Similar to Bargnani, coming into the NBA Durant needed to upgrade his defense to take his play to another level.
If you actually compare their stat lines this season, they are eerily similar. Now of course I would prefer Durant over Bargnani any day of the week but it's just some food for thought.
The main Bargnani comparison is obviously Dirk Nowitizki. Both seven-footers who are jump shot specialists. Both use the pump fake as an art and get the defender to go for the shot block all the time.
Good luck trying to block a seven-footer shooting a jump shot. More times than not it won't happen.
If he ever panned out to be the player Nowitzki is now, Raptors fans have a lot to look forward to.