It shouldn’t have even come as a surprise that the Toronto Raptors Bruno Caboclo let his frustration boil over with Brazil this summer. National Team head coaches are famous for acting more like they are running a US college team of 30 years ago than a group of professionals and Caboclo brought a lot of insecurity and baggage with him.
As Fábio Balassiano writes in uol (translated),
I do not know if there could be a more bizarre / sad / tragic / catastrophic night for Brazilian basketball like this one on August 26, 2017 in Medellin.
To make matters worse, the mood (heated) up between Bruno Caboclo and the national coaching staff.
the Toronto Raptors’ wing was called to return to the court in the second period, but declined. In the interval, he was dismissed for discipline by the Manager Renato Lamas.
The real reasons behind Caboclo’s insubordination during the game against Mexico may never fully come to light, but they should have been headed off by the coaching staff as something was obviously going very wrong in the relationship as described by by
On the bench, he had an expression of extreme dissatisfaction. In the warm-up, he went to the other half of the court while the whole group hit the ball on one side. He stayed alone until the team work was mandatory.
The Toronto Raptors had drafted Caboclo as a project player most famously described as being two years away from being two years away and his first NBA season was an unmitigated disaster.
The next year in the inaugural season with the NBA D-League Raptors 905 things got better and last year he finally started to show some consistency in the NBA D-League championship run by the 905. However, each season saw him feeling less and less like he was a part of the big club.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri described Caboclo’s first three NBA season as, “almost like he’s gone thru college on our team.”
Caboclo said no one on the Raptors was mentoring him and, “the 905 is like everybody is family.”
Last season in Toronto Caboclo knew where he stood and it was obvious from talking to him that his ego was fragile. It wasn’t going to take a lot to shatter his confidence or make him feel like an outsider this summer.
Great job Lamas, you succeeded in setting Caboclo back yet again.
Caboclo was then informed that he would no longer be part of the group, was away indefinitely and that he would return from Medellín on the first possible flight this Sunday.
After the game Caboclo apologized for his actions on his instagram account.
" Eu Quero me desculpar com a Confederação Brasileira de Basquete pela minha conduta durante o jogo da noite passada. Respeito meus treinadores e colegas, e deixei que minhas emoções entrassem no caminho dos objetivos da nossa equipe. É uma honra representar o país que amo e humildemente aceito as consequências para as minhas ações. Estou crescendo como um profissional a cada dia e me esforçando para tornar os meus fãs, companheiros de equipe, país e família orgulhosos ". • • • • • • • "I want to apologize to the Brazilian Basketball Federation for my conduct during last night’s game. I respect my coaches/teammates and disappointed that my emotions got in the way of our team’s goals. It’s an honor to represent the country I love and will humbly accept the consequences for my actions. I am growing as a professional each day and striving to make my fans, teammates, country and family proud."
“I want to apologize to the Brazilian Basketball Federation for my conduct during last night’s game. I respect my coaches/teammates and disappointed that my emotions got in the way of our team’s goals. It’s an honor to represent the country I love and will humbly accept the consequences for my actions. I am growing as a professional each day and striving to make my fans, teammates, country and family proud.”
As Balassiano says about the Brazil’s National Team,
The guilt is far from being only of (the manager), but I confess that I expected more of a team that appears apathetic, disorganized and totally without an idea of what to do with the ball
Once again Caboclo has been tossed into a situation he wasn’t ready for, little was done to accommodate his inexperience and immaturity and he’ll likely take the brunt of the blame for his meltdown. He wasn’t ready for this situation and Brazil’s coaches obviously weren’t ready for this summer either.
If he wasn’t making so much money from the Raptors, it’d be hard not to feel sorry for the kid.