Steve Russell, Staff Photographer, @RussellPhotos
It is always strange when a long time player gets traded or retires.
I seem to always think about the pictures that they gave me.
Andrea Bagnani, numero sette, was a challenge for photographers. His teammates had that one trait that photogaphers love. Great expressive faces. (see links below)
Andrea's face revealed nothing!
Oddly enough his face factors in my favourite story about him.
I was tasked with photographing him for our season kick off section.
I had ideas, I was promised time, I scouted Italian tailor shops, restaurants and magic venues.
Something magic happened, the time frame I was promised vanished, ergo, the big concept photoshoot.
I was given a 15 minute window in between events at a venue I had never seen before.
I was limited to a simple portrait.
Struggling for an idea I found some old raptor tattoos.
I pasted one on the seven footer's face and snapped a couple frames.
Time to go!
Problem, the tattoo wasn't coming off after the shoot!
Took a lot of elbow grease and a few Italian words, don't think he was thanking me, to get the tattoo off.
Raptors number one pick would wear number seven.
A little ice is the remedy for a sore lip for Andrea Bargnani as the Toronto Raptors win their home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks 109-92 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, November 3, 2006.
The tough defense on Vince Carter was sometimes too tough as Andrea Bargnani gives Carter a faceful of hand for a foul as the Toronto Raptors beat the New Jersey Nets 120-109, February 14, 2007.
Less that week after an appendix operation Andrea Bargnani tosses the ball at workout, March 29, 2007.
Andrea Bargnani keeps warm as the Toronto Raptors lose to the Philadelphia 76ers 122-119 in the final game of the season at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, April 18, 2007.
Andrea Bargnani trues to make it to the hoop as the Toronto Raptors even the series at one with the New Jersey Nets after a 89-83 victory in Game Two at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, April 24, 2007.
Andrea Bargnani cuts past Lamar Odom, February 1, 2008.
Kobe Bryant ended up licking the Raptors, including Andrea Bargnani's arm as the Toronto Raptors are punished 121-101 by the LA Lakers, February 1, 2008.
Andrea Bargnani takes the charge from Troy Murphy. February 29, 2008.
Andrea Bargnani gets a pass off despite aggressive defence from Eduardo Najera and Vince Carter. November 21, 2008.
Vince Carter ties to get around Andrea Bargnani. November 21, 2008.
Jermaine O'Neal takes a bite out of Andrea Bargnani's defense.
Andrea Bargnani manages to stop Dwyane Wade, March 6, 2009.
Andrea Bargnani dunks as the Toronto Raptors break a seven game losing streak with a 110-87 win over the Indiana Pacers, March 15, 2009.
Andrea Bargnani gets one of his two blocked shots against Kendrick Perkins as the Toronto lose to the Boston Celtics 101-82 in preseason NBA action, October 18, 2009.
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Antawn Jamison puts a hand on Toronto Raptors centre Andrea Bargnani October 29, 2010.
Andrea Bargnani sneaks the ball past Charlotte Bobcats power forward Boris Diaw.
Toronto Raptors centre Andrea Bargnani makes a great play in the corner to save a pair of fans' beers as the Toronto Raptors play the Minnesota Timberwolves, February 4, 2011.
Andrea Bargnani gets a shot around Minnesota Timberwolves centre Darko Milicic to score two of his 30 in the game as the Toronto Raptors break a 13-game losing streak. February 4, 2011.
Andrea Bargnani lifts weights in the practice gym at the Air Canada Centre. December 8, 2011.
Toronto Raptors centre Andrea Bargnani watches the flight of his shot after being knocked over in second half action as the Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 92-77. January 4, 2012.
Andrea Bargnani takes a shoulder in the chest from Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Antawn Jamison. January 4, 2012.
After sinking 3 of his 31 points, Andrea Bargnani indulges in a rare on court smile as the Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 92-77. January 4, 2012.
Andrea Bargnani does a scoreboard promo on greenscreen as the Toronto Raptors hold Media Day to kick off their 18th campaign. October 1, 2012.
Andrea Bargnani in first half action as the Toronto Raptors play the Denver Nuggets. February 12, 2013.
Other departed Raptors