Jerry Stackhouse had seen it all before. For almost everyone else, the news seemed to come out of nowhere: Bruno Caboclo, the Toronto Raptors‘ sweet-smiling test case for the merits of long-term gratification was being dismissed from the Brazilian national team just three games into his international career. As word filtered out from Columbia, where Brazil was playing Mexico in the FIBA Americas Cup in August, it seemed hard to fathom: Caboclo was being sent home for ‘an act of indiscipline’ – essentially pouting after being removed from the game and then doubling down by refusing to return to the game when asked. Caboclo doesn’t deny the broad strokes. “We were playing good, the team was new, it was the first time we were together but we had some misunderstandings on the team, some things they made up but it’s okay I made some mistakes and I learned,“ Caboclo explained to me with a confidence in his English skills that has grown every year since was drafted as an 18-year-old with the 20th pick in the 2014 draft. “What happened is I went to the bench in the first quarter and [the coach] put me on the bench until there was one minute left in the second quarter and I was mad and I didn’t want to go play. I got mad. And in the locker room the [coach] told me I didn’t have to go back into the game, so that’s what happened. “I’m competitive and I wasn’t playing bad and I was a big part of that team and I don’t know why he did that. I thought I would go back at seven or five minutes and then I was cold and everything.” He sent home immediately, his first opportunity with his national team ending in embarrassment.
Raptors’ Bruno Caboclo maturing on and off the court
Sportsnet | Sep 29