Bargnani likes Toronto, really

Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani saves the ball in front of Bucks forward Drew Gooden during a game...

Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani saves the ball in front of Bucks forward Drew Gooden during a game in March at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont. (MARK BLINCH/Reuters)


, Last Updated: 1:22 AM ET

TORONTO - Andrea Bargnanis name has been mud in these parts for the past couple of days well, to clarify, muddier than usual. And he wants you to know its all a misunderstanding.

The Raptors power forward made a cameo appearance as guest analyst on Italys Sky Sports feed of the NBA Western Conference final this past weekend.

In an interview conducted in Italian and since translated by a Toronto newspaper, Bargnani is asked if he could play anywhere else in the NBA, where would he choose to play?

The reply, according to the translation, has Bargnani first saying I want to stay in Toronto, at least this is the politically correct answer. If (I am) to go somewhere else, Id like a warm-climate city and a team where I can actually play my role.

That response was published Tuesday in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Bargnanis press office sent a statement of clarification from Bargnani to the Raptors which was distributed to the local media. It read:

I wish to personally clarify and correct an inaccurate portrayal of my words that recently appeared in the media. Much of what I said was taken out of context with respect to an entire conversation.

I want to make clear my love for Toronto and that I consider the city a second home. I never said that I want to leave Toronto and Im sorry if fans interpreted the inaccuracy that way.

I am proud to represent Toronto and the Raptors organization. I appreciate what Bryan Colangelo and the organization has done for me during the past five years of my career. I will always continue to work to improve myself as a player in an effort to reward the organization and our fans with the best team possible.