Title: A Wingspan and A Prayer: Bruno Caboclo’s long and winding road leads to a real chance in Memphis
Date: March 20, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about Bruno Caboclo’s strange and unique path to finally getting an opportunity in the NBA.
Bruno Caboclo is standing at the free-throw line waiting for a lob from Jerry Stackhouse while Nicki Gross watches from just outside the paint. Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles are all back in the locker room getting ready. The night’s program has Caboclo on the cover, and a day later he’ll sign autographs and smile for pictures at an event for season ticket holders.
Describe this scene at different times between 2014 and 2018, and most would have assumed it was from a not-so-distant Toronto Raptors future. Instead, it is taking place at FedEx Forum in Memphis, where all parties are now members of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Still getting used to his new surroundings, Caboclo flushes the put-back jam set up by Stackhouse but doesn’t stick the landing, knocking over the drink of another staff member in the process. He apologizes with a bright smile and heads back to the locker room, where Valanciunas will proclaim Caboclo has grown to 9-feet tall, the two of them a part of Memphis’ suddenly deep, fun frontcourt rotation.
It’s all very new yet feels very familiar. This is what might have been, playing out in alternate fashion.
“It feels normal. Kind of. The chemistry is the same, our friendship is very good, so it’s been good,” Caboclo says. “It feels like it’s the first time I’m playing and I can really get the feel.”