Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How "The Brazilian Blur" came to be...

USA Today's Greg Boeck, in an article dated 5-11-06, talks about Phoenix Suns Brazilian guard Leandrinho Barbosa's penchant for "picking up nicknames" such as "The Brazilian Blur," "Speedy Gonzalez," "The fastest guy on the earth," and the latest one given by his Suns teammate Boris Diaw: "The Roadrunner."

Barbosa has also been known to play at a high level and at times even look like he would be ready to run out of the gym. "Leandro," says back-to-back two-time MVP Steve Nash, the orchestrator of the league's run-and-stun, catch-us-if-you-can offense, "has a gear I'm totally unfamiliar with. It's fun to watch. I wish I could borrow it for a quarter or two just for kicks. I'll let him have my car if I can borrow his wheels."

This past summer, Barbosa was rewarded with a new $33 million dollar, 5-year deal, to stay with the Phoenix Suns.

Leandrinho Barbosa is a key part of the Phoenix Suns. Seems like it has always been so, doesn't it? But boy, it almost didn't happen that way.

From Henry Abbott's "True Hoop" Blog

- Don't forget that San Antonio drafted Barbosa in 2003. The Spurs then traded the Brazilian to Phoenix for a conditional 2005 first-round pick. That pick ended up going to New York (as a major component of the package that netted Nazr Mohammed for San Antonio) and became David Lee.

- Sources tell me that when the Seattle SuperSonics selected Luke Ridnour 14th in 2003, some people in the Sonic draft room were pulling for Barbosa instead. Barbosa, a relative unknown who had played only in Brazil, slipped to 28th.

- (This one is really interesting!!!) Blazer broadcaster Mike Barrett says the Suns were ready to deal Barbosa for a second-round pick in the summer of 2005: "I'm not sure if many fans realize how close Barbosa was to becoming a Trail Blazer ... Basically, if the trade of Shareef Abdur-Rahim to New Jersey hadn't fallen through at the last minute (the Nets said he flunked his physical) the Blazers would have used the second-round pick they would have gained in that trade, to trade to the Suns for Barbosa. The deal was basically done, and then everything fell apart when the Nets voided the Abdur-Rahim trade."

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