Spanish hype dies down

MIKE KOREEN

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Now that Spain has won the world basketball championship, having three of the country's players on the same NBA court is not front-page news.

When the Memphis Grizzlies played host to the Raptors last year, a bunch of Spanish reporters chronicled the duel between Toronto point guard Jose Calderon and Memphis star Pau Gasol, at the time the only two players from Spain in the NBA.

But even with a new Spaniard added to the mix this season -- Raptors forward Jorge Garbajosa -- the Spanish media didn't come out in droves for the Grizzlies-Raptors game to cover the three members of the world championship team from this past summer in Japan.

"They're used to it now," Calderon said. "Last year, it was something different."

The Spanish NBA contingent has doubled this year -- Sergio Rodriguez plays for the Portland Trail Blazers -- and a few NBA games are shown live in Spain each month, including the Raptors-Grizzlies tilt in the early morning hours in Spain.

"It's special," Calderon said of having two fellow countrymen on the court. "It's important for us."

The schedule maker didn't allow Spain's players to enjoy a meal together as the Raptors arrived in Memphis on the back end of a back-to-back, meaning they arrived in the city late Friday night and left after the game last night.

WELCOME BACK

It was a homecoming last night for Raptors athletic trainer Scott McCullough, who worked for the Grizzlies organization the past 11 seasons. The Renfrew, Ont., native started with the franchise in its inaugural season in Vancouver in 1995 before moving with the team to Memphis.

BRIEFLY

Daily Chris Bosh update -- when asked how his bruised left knee was doing, the Raptors star said, "Better than yesterday." Bosh was doing wind sprints on the court, while his team shot around before the game ... Blue Jays catcher Jason Phillips, a resident of the Memphis area, attended the game last night ... The Grizzles are one of only two teams to hold the Raptors under 80 points in a game since the start of 2004-05. Memphis has done it three times, while the Miami Heat held Toronto to 77 earlier this month.


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