Brazilian basketball coordinator Barbosa slams NBA stars

Oct 4, 2007 - 6:43 PM RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Ticker) -- Antonio Carlos Barbosa, the coordinator of the Brazilian national teams, has slammed the country's NBA stars after they failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics last month.

Brazil was beaten by Argentina in the semifinals of the FIBA Americas tournament and now faces a further qualifying stage as it attempts to make the Olympics.

Barbosa, who was formerly coach of the Brazilian women's team, has laid the blame firmly at the feet of the team's high-profile stars.

"The fact a player is in the NBA means he is very good, but it doesn't mean he will be champion," he said. "Leandrinho (Leandro Barbosa), Nene, (Anderson) Varejao - these players do not have the power to take decisions. Nene was fat and out of form."

Barbosa believes that the NBA players rested on their laurels.

"Everybody values NBA players a lot, but just being in the NBA isn't enough," he said. "Everybody talks about a need of modernization in Brazilian basketball, but what does modern mean?

"In the United States and Europe, training structure is modern, but every team has to find their own style."

Barbosa also was disappointed with the women's team, which will have to face another qualifier after taking the bronze medal at its own FIBA Americas Championship in Valdivia, Brazil.

"The national team has a nutritionist, but it's not working well," he said. "The team usually stay in a hotel. In Rio de Janeiro, I was told a waiter took candies and chocolates to the players' rooms. We have to be more conscious of these types of things."

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