Jeff Zillgitt: One NBA team headed to Brazil for a preseason game: Orlando Magic will play Flamengo of Brazil’s pro basketball league on Oct. 17.
Citing the poor global economic climate, the director of basketball for the Brazilian team Flamengo Arnaldo Szpiro said the team has ceased their pursuit to sign San Antonio Spurs’ Tiago Splitter. “The crisis ended any possibility of the coming of the Splitter. The partners are afraid to invest large sums.” However, Flamengo is not without an NBA player during this lockout. The team was able to sign Leandro Barbosa but even Szpiro said the team was fortunate to sign Barbosa. “If it were today, for example, not even Barbosa would come, “said Szpiro.”
Before departing Argentina, where he helped Brazil qualify for next summer’s Olympic tournament, center Tiago Splitter told the Express-News he would sign on with Flamengo, a Brazilian club where former Suns guard Leandro Barbosa currently plays, if training camps were postponed or canceled. “I do not want to be waiting for something to happen,” Splitter said. “I want to be playing, so if our (Spurs) camp will not start on time then I think I will sign with Flamengo. “Of course, I will make sure I will be able to join the Spurs when the lockout ends, but I want to be playing and working on my game.”