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)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:22 AM ET

TORONTO - Andrea Bargnani’s 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 it’s all a misunderstanding.

The Raptors’ power forward made a cameo appearance as guest analyst on Italy’s 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, I’d like a warm-climate city and a team where I can actually play my role.”

That response was published Tuesday in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Bargnani’s 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 I’m 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.”


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