Sam Mitchell once banned Andrea Bargnani from shooting 3-pointers

Mitchell, who coached Toronto from 2004 through 2008, said he set aside one 10-game stretch where he forbade Bargnani from taking a three-point shot. He said he went so far as to tell the young Italian he would remove him from the game if he stopped to shoot from beyond the arc.

“My thing was, I wanted him to understand he used the three-pointer as a crutch,” he said. “He relied on it too much. I wanted him to use the three-pointer as a weapon. I wanted him to realize that, from 17 feet in, in one dribble, Andrea could get anywhere on the basketball court.”

Mitchell, who has spoken of management’s interference before, would not go into the specifics of what upper management told him. He would not offer names.

“Maybe, looking back, if I ever coach again and I want to do something like that, I’ll sit down with the general manager first and say, ‘this is what I want to do, this is why I’m going to do it, and after these 10 games, I’m going to turn him loose,’” he said.

– Reported by Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post