Aside from the wheeling and dealing of NBA free agency during the offseason, personally I enjoy the summer basketball tournaments overseas. It truly is competitive and tough going when a chance to qualify for Olympic play is on the line.
Foreign born NBA players usually jump at the chance to represent their home country, much to the dismay of their respective NBA fan base and coaching staff. Stateside, many feel foreign players should take time to rest and heal and prepare for the upcoming season instead of risking injury or running out of gas the following season.
And that is exactly what Spurs big man, Tiago Splitter, will be doing this offseason.
The Brazilian big man will not play for Team Brazil this summer at the FIBA Americas tournament citing the need to heal ache and pains suffered during the Spurs long postseason run.
The San Antonio Spurs star, who made his Olympic debut last summer and helped the national side reach the Quarter-Finals, has sent a letter to Brazil Basketball Confederation President Carlos Nunes and Secretary General Edio Jose Alves explaining the need to withdraw from this year's group.
Splitter cites a "physical recovery program" he has to undertake after a grueling campaign that ended last month with a Game 7 defeat to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Splitter, who resigned with San Antonio to a lucrative deal, was a key cog in the Spurs' run to the 2013 NBA Finals. Though he fizzled in the series versus Miami, he still had a very productive season and ran the pick-and-roll to perfection with San Antonio.
For Brazil, this does leave their big man corps depleted but not dead on arrival. The team will still have Anderson Varejao, Nene, and Celtics 2013 draft pick Lucas Nogueira.
Losing Splitter is bad news for Team Brazil but if you are a Spurs fan or a a part of their coaching staff, you are liking this news.