“Everybody likes you, but tomorrow they trade you. I don’t like the word trade. I’m going to do the best I can to be here. I like Phoenix, my team, the fans.” -Leandro Barbosa
At 34 years old, it’s Leandro Barbosa‘s 3rd time around with the Phoenix Suns. He’s a seasoned veteran of the NBA, and he has the recognition to show for it.
In 2015, with the Golden State Warriors, Barbosa went all the way to win an NBA championship. He was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, with the Suns in 2007. And he’s far from done.
Repping the Warriors. Credit: Fanside
Barbosa grew up in the favelas of São Paulo, and only had a mattress to sleep on at night.
His story is an inspirational one to many young Brazilian players who dream of making it big. Barbosa’s played professionally for over half his life, having gotten his start at age 17 with Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras.
He’s ascended from the favelas to join the most important basketball league in the world. Through his journey, he’s always maintained a humble outlook, and hasn’t forgotten what brought him up–his love of the game.
To his Brazilian fans, he’ll always be known as “Leandrinho” (Little Leandro) because of his humble origins.
THE BRAZILIAN BLUR
His US fans affectionately refer to him as the “Brazilian Blur” because of his speed on the court. At 6’3″, he isn’t a giant (by NBA standards, anyway) but plays with a quick, fierce intensity on offense. He’s also a big fan of the finger roll.