Friday , Sep , 07 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Playing In FIBA Eurobasket Tournament Strains Jorge Garbajosa’s Relationship With Toronto Raptors?

On the other hand, behind closed doors, the Raptors have to be furious. Garbajosa, who broke his leg last spring, is risking his career and the Raptors’ season by playing before his injury has healed. Remember, the ‘dinos’ struggled mightily after Garbajosa got hurt. And Toronto’s doctors never cleared him to play …

On the one hand, the Toronto Raptors must admire Jorge Garbajosa playing through injury for Spain in the FIBA EuroBasket qualifying tournament. He’s showing heart, something that was noticeably absent during the end of Vince Carter’s run in the T-dot.

On the other hand, behind closed doors, the Raptors have to be furious. Garbajosa, who broke his leg last spring, is risking his career and the Raptors’ season by playing before his injury has healed. Remember, the ‘dinos’ struggled mightily after Garbajosa got hurt. And Toronto’s doctors never cleared him to play.

Was Toronto right to try to stop Garbajosa from playing in the Olympic qualifying tournament?

Yes. As his employers, they have the right to protect their interests and to protetct the player from himself. Remember, Mark Cuban leaned on Steve Nash to essentially retire from Team Canada.

But Garbajosa had different ideas. He got cleared by his own doctors. And the Spanish basketball federation paid the insurance premium for him to play.

So why would the forward risk his livelihood? In Europe, balling for your country is the ultimate honor. The NBA takes a backseat to all international competitions. For example, Pau Gasol didn’t care that his foot injury, sustained during the World Championships, ruined Memphis’ 2006-07 season. Yesterday, Darko Milicic dropped an all-time tirade on reporters after Serbia was eliminated from the competition.

So the Raptors have to hope Garbajosa avoids further injury during Eurobasket play. His leg will eventually heal, but his relationship with the Raptors might have suffered a permanent strain.

Should Garbajosa have played for Spain? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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