Guess who’s back? Back again. Leandro Barbosa’s back. Tell a Golden State Warriors loving friend.
Yes, the Brazilian Blur is returning to the Warriors, only this time it’s in a different capacity. Barbosa will join the team as a player mentor coach, which should go a long way towards replacing the recently-departed Steve Nash, who left the Warriors to take a head coach position with the Brooklyn Nets.
Barbosa announced the news on his Instagram page.
View this post on Instagram
Não sei dizer o momento exato que o basquete entrou na minha trajetória, mas há mais de 20 anos minha vida gira em torno da bola laranja. Qualquer atleta de alto rendimento sabe do que estou falando, mas para a grande maioria das pessoas é importante explicar que isso significa abrir mão de muita coisa por muito tempo, escolhas difíceis, sacrifícios... um preço salgado que é pago pelo gosto doce da vitória. Me considero um vencedor. Saí da periferia para fazer 850 jogos na maior liga de basquete do planeta e mais de 100 jogos* defendendo o meu país. Quatro Copas do Mundo, dois Jogos Olímpicos, tenho um anel de Campeão da NBA, fui o primeiro brasileiro a receber um prêmio individual na NBA, fui Campeão Brasileiro... Caramba! Não tem como não me orgulhar. Acredito que consegui jogar em alto nível durante todos esses anos, tanto que me despeço como maior pontuador do último NBB. Estou pronto para um novo começo, uma nova caminhada, de novo com a bola laranja nas mãos. A transição será rápida, como sempre foi. É uma enorme alegria anunciar meu retorno ao Golden State Warriors, como Player Mentor Coach.Tenho certeza que me sentirei em casa, afinal, foi assim como jogador e tem sido assim desde então. Não poderia estar mais motivado, sei que estarei rodeado de profissionais brilhantes e farei tudo que estiver ao meu alcance para colaborar com o desenvolvimento de jogadores e toda a organização. Agradeço pelo convite e pela confiança no trabalho que posso desempenhar. For English version in comments..
Barbosa’s caption is in Portuguese, but he included a statement in English in the comments:
Leandrinho: Farewell statement
I couldn’t tell exactly when basketball first crossed my path, but for over 20 years my life has revolved around the orange ball. Any high-performance athlete knows what I’m talking about, but for the vast majority of people it is never enough to stress that this means giving up a lot and doing so for a very long time, difficult decisions and sacrifices must be made along the way. At first, it all seems a hefty price, but it is soon replaced by the sweet taste of both achievement and victory.
I consider myself a winner. I left a rough neighborhood in São Paulo, Brazil, to play 850 games in the largest basketball league on the planet and more than 100 games defending my home country in four FIBA Basketball World Cups, and two Olympic Games. I have also earned a NBA Champion ring. I was the first Brazilian to have ever received an individual award in the NBA, in addition to being a Brazilian Champion. ... Oh boy! I can’t help but be proud of my trajectory. I believe I managed to have played at a high level for all these years, so much that I bid farewell as the highest scorer of the last NBB (the New Brazilian Basketball league).
I guess I am ready for a new beginning, a new road, nevertheless I will continue with the good old orange ball. The transition will be quick, as it always has been to me. It is a great joy to announce my return to the Golden State Warriors as a PLAYER MENTOR COACH. I have no doubts I will feel right at home, after all, it was always like that as a player and it has been that way ever since.
I couldn’t be more motivated and engaged. I know that I will be surrounded by brilliant professionals and I will do everything in my power to collaborate with the development of players and with the entire organization.
I am very grateful for the invitation and mainly for the confidence they have placed in the work that I can do.
Barbosa spent two years with the Warriors, winning a championship with the team in 2014-15, and helping set the single-season wins record in 2015-16. During his time with Golden State he averaged 15.4 minutes, 6.7 points, and 1.4 assists per game, while becoming a fan favorite and sparking a catchphrase that lives on to this day.
Barbosa then spent the 2016-17 season with the Phoenix Suns (his third stint with his original team), before spending two years playing professionally in his home country of Brazil.
The move to the Warriors bench not only signals a return to Golden State, but officially marks the end of his playing career, which featured 14 seasons in the NBA.
Barbosa didn’t just endear himself to Warriors fans, but also got along very well with the Warriors players and coaches. Even after the veteran left the Warriors, Steve Kerr spoke glowingly of him, and Barbosa often received fun social media messages from Steph Curry and other members of the team. So there’s no doubt that the move will be a good fit for all parties.
And given the number of young players on the Dubs, Barbosa could really help with player development.
Welcome home, Leandro.