Lots of player's with "potential" have gotten coaches fired unjustly over the years. Colangelo had a lot more invested in Bargnani than he did Mitchell, who he didn't even hire in the first place. When Colangelo took over, Mitchell was already in place and many thought he would replace him, but he was under contract, so gave him a chance. he ended up winning Coach of the Year the first year under Colangelo. Are you going to fire him, then? Besides, Bargnani had a fairly decent rookie season. In his second year he regressed. And Mitchell was fired early the next season.
The buzz was Mitchell got fired for not playing Bargnani enough, and if your coach gets fired while youre still on the team, i guess that constitutes that even if you are not a perfect player, youre still doing some good things, otherwise, they wouldve traded you out instead of replacing the coach. What im trying to say is BC sided with Bargnani, so i dont think he was on his case much earlier than you were assuming.
If you look at his stats, Bargnani was getting 3.9 rebs during year 1 and improved to 6.2 in year 4. He was avging .8 blks his 1st year and jumped to 1.4 his 4th year. Im not saying his numbers were great, but he was showing improvement from year to year, which, i presume, was the result of him putting in effort. Now in his 5th year, when he becomes the focal point of everything, he regresses. What changed? His effort? Maybe. The trainer's focus on his abilities to develop? Maybe. I think there were many, many factors on why he regressed, but clearly, he puts in the effort and time to improve as his stats clearly show, so i think there might be more things going on that just position and being lazy.
I think youre just isolating that fact that its just Bargnani who controls everything in his career, unfortunately, i dont think thats how it works in the NBA. Talent is first, then effort, but you are surrounded by trainers, nutritionist, coaches, assistant coaches, GMs who tell you on a daily basis how to move, eat, post up, defend, etc etc. I get where youre coming from with the initiative factor, but not everybody has initiative. And I dont think management told him not to play defense or rebound, but they probably, unconsciously instilled in him that they want him to make an effort MORE in scoring rather than rebounding and defending. And as ive said before, before the Raptors drafted him, he already played 4 years in the Euroleague, not even amateur ball, and he was never a big rebounder or defender, he was always branded as a scorer. and starting at such a young age, it probably got instilled in him that i am and will always be a scorer.