On my birthday eight years ago, I predicted who the Raptors would take with their first pick in the NBA draft. The writing was on the wall. The Raptors would choose Benetton Treviso forward Andrea Bargnani.
As the years progressed, there were highs and lows, but mostly lows. This culminated in the 2012 Christmas Day fight, documented with photographs here. Trust me, it's worth the click. My brother Ryan praised Bargnani and considered him a huge asset, even comparing him to Dirk Nowitzki. In episode 2 of my brother's defunct sports podcast, we revisited the passionate argument.
In January 2013, we got a taste of what life would be like without Bargnani, and it was glorious. This season, we're seeing what life is truly like post-Bargnani. This wonderful video explains all.
Yes, the Rudy Gay trade was an important factor in the Raptors' recent success, but getting rid of Bargnani was the catalyst. I watched the Raptors easily dispose of Washington last night and they now lead the Atlantic division by four games. More importantly, they're great fun to watch. As I recently wrote, this team I love!
Sorry Ry, but I was right about Bargnani. He's junk.