After a solid debut for the Brazilian senior men’s national team, Bruno Caboclo’s career on the FIBA circuit has gone off the rails quickly.
Reportedly upset with a substitution in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Mexico, Caboclo refused to re-enter the game for the second half. He was allegedly pouting during warm-ups and refused to join the team after multiple pleas. As a result, he has been removed from the national team altogether, with the Brazilian basketball confederation citing an act of indiscipline as the reason.
“The athlete Bruno Caboclo committed an act of indiscipline, refusing to enter the court when the coach requested, was removed from the Brazilian national team. Based on the principles that guide the current management of the Brazilian Confederation, we can not allow any athlete to commit an act of indiscipline of this size wearing the shirt of the Brazilian National Team.”
Lamas expanded further in his post-game press conference, saying he intends to speak with the Toronto Raptors about Caboclo’s attitude:
“I’m very sad, very much. But we just want players who want to be in the national team. If he does not want to be, we will not want him with us. “
Caboclo also temporarily deleted his Instagram account following the game. When he reactivated it, all photos of him with the national team had been removed.
Caboclo had three points and a steal in nine minutes before being removed from the game, one Brazil would ultimately lose. He posted an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double in the tournament opener and had varying degrees of success in the exhibition games, showing more promising signs than bad. Obviously, getting removed from the team is the worst takeaway of all here, though it’s worth keeping in mind that we’ll likely only hear the team’s side in this.
This would not be the first time Caboclo’s emotions have gotten the better of him. He famously got upset when C.J. Fair dunked on him in his first Summer League action, but that was a little more understandable given the age and culture shock he was going through at the time. Even as recently as the G-League Finals last year, though, Caboclo could grow combative or withdrawn when things didn’t go his way, and while his ability to bounce back and re-engage after those moments has improved, he clearly has a long way to come from an emotional maturity perspective. He’s young, yes, but he’s 21 and has three years of traveling the NBA under his belt now – if this is as cut and dry as Lamas and reporters have laid it out, this is a bad look and a disappointing end to Caboclo’s first national team exposure.
UPDATE: Caboclo issued an apology via his Instagram.
" 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."
Here’s the English portion of his caption:
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.
Taking responsibility for it is a good first step, at least.