New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani will skip the Eurobasket tournament

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Andrea Bargnani could be a vital piece of the Knicks.

Recently diagnosed with pneumonia, New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani has been declared physically unable to participate in the Eurobasket tournament this year.

Acquired on July 10 in a trade with the Toronto Raptors, the 27-year-old Bargnani may not even be ready for training camp.

Taken first overall by Toronto in 2006, the 7-foot, 256 pound Bargnani averaged 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks over 433 games as a Raptor.

However, brittle and possibly lacking testicular fortitude, the passive Italian has a lot to prove as an employee at The World’s Most Famous Arena and New York deserves a healthy and rested version of Bargnani.

Going 54-28 and advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Knicks certainly had an impressive 2012-2013 campaign.

Still, it’s impossible to claim that New York is better than the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls or Indiana Pacers.

Unless Bargnani matures into a consistent force on the hardwood, the Knicks are destined to disappoint in Gotham next winter.

Although it’s understandable that the towering European wants to represent Italy, nothing should be more important to Andrea Bargnani than the New York Knicks.

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