After Brazil suffered a narrow two-point defeat at the hands of Jamaica to end their FIBA Americas Championship run in the first round, much criticism has been directed at several Brazilian players, and especially a few that did not play in the tournament for their home country.
Notably absent was San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter, who has been a main centerpiece for Brazil for several years.
Splitter apparently had plenty to say not in only in response to critics, but also in appreciation of his fellow countrymen on Twitter (via translation).
Wanted to send a big hug to all fellow Brazilian teammates! I know you gave everything on the court! You are very great players with a lot of experience in major championships on the planet. For one reason or another it did not work out.
Some spoke that it was the fault of the players who were not with the team. With respect to myself, it's really hard to understand after 13 years representing my country!
I remember when I was not at my best and fully committed, I was criticized for playing below what I could.
I remember when my son was born I went straight to training and spent the first 2 months away from family...I remember when my sister was living the last days of her life, there I was representing my country!
We always won together and lost together mostly. There were many victories and many painful defeats. Defeat is where we know best and never any of us pointed the finger at each other, instead we supported each other more. I know exactly how they are feeling my fellow selection after spending more than 50 days away from the family, in regime concentration training. You will always have my support and solidarity that I always have of all of them.
In a few months we will all be together again. Now is the time to reflect and think about a better future. My selection was always based on respect, honesty, commitment and courage. Only the total lack of knowledge could generate these statements displaced from reality.
Minus Splitter, Brazil, who has always been considered a medal contender in international competition, went 0-4. They still had mainstays Marcelinho Huertas, Alex Garcia and Guilherme Giovannoni but their NBA representation of Splitter, Nene, Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao were absent from the tournament in Caracas.
While the Brazilians were dealt a tough hand without their top talent, other players, like Huertas that were expected to step up, didn’t do enough to help Brazil secure a spot in the second round via their loser goes home battle with Jamaica.
As unfair as any criticism may be, as is always the case, every team needs their best players in order to give themselves the best opportunity. However, considering he followed a grueling 82-game season with a deep playoff run through seven games of the NBA Finals, no Spurs fan will blame Splitter for sitting out the FIBA Americas Championship. But he may just be motivated enough to assure he’s there and makes a difference the next time around. Let’s hope he saves some of that for the NBA season as well.
And he remembering who's paying him 9 million a year to be at his best....good for him. Finally a foreign player that realizes that.
he is a nice guy... i support whatever your decision man... keep in progress next season with our team...
@RaulAlzaga se las contestó bien duro!!
I think he made a wise decision on not playing this year and avoiding an injury. I don't see why they are critizing him. if they are going to critize him, then critize all the other players from other teams who didn't play either but it seems that they only like to critize the players from the Spurs. They need to lay off!!!
I love the fact Tiago sat out, even more that he stood up to critics. And if my memory serves correctly, Tiago was with Timmy and Hibbert during Timmy's big man workouts, and again, if memory serves correctly, in one pic with Tim and Jessie James Leija, Tiago had some wraps on and was evidently doing Timmy's cross-training regime (boxing)-which again, is, awesome. If Tiago has transitioned (mentally) to the idea that he needs to be healthy for the Spurs, improve his conditioning and he's working out with TD.....that's huge. I think the Miami series was painful but potentially significant growth moment for Tiago. He saw in a painful way what it takes to be a champion in the NBA and the guy does have pride. He won championship in Europe. He wants to be a champion. I'm not expecting him to be a 20 and 10 guy. I do think, if Tiago is in better condition (maybe a bit leaner) and develops a reliable hook shot that can't be blocked, he can be more productive and that's a win for him and the Spurs. Had he played for team Brazil after this post season the odds of him getting some kind of injury during the NBA season would be, in my opinion, high. His first two years he dealt with nagging injuries. I wish TP had made a similar decision this year.
TS just earned himself a bit more respect from this guy. Very well thought out comments by TS. He made some very good points and deserves to make his own decisions. I personally think he did the right thing for himself and SA.