The shooting guard from the Golden State Warriors was able to do last night what his native Brazil failed to accomplish last year, win a World Championship. Leandro Barbosa, known as the “Brazilian Blur” is also a prophet, predicting that the Warriors, who finished a league best 67-15 would win the NBA Championship.
“Six months ago, I called it.”
Barbosa proclaimed in the winning locker room after a game six victory over Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which netted Golden State their first NBA championship since 1975.
“The impact he’s made on this team is dramatic.”
Head Coach Steve Kerr explained,
“Such a big part of the game is chemistry and unity and that stuff factors in.”
Two years ago, Leandro was damaged goods, an ACL injury and family issues two years ago in Boston. Phoenix took a chance and he showed he could still do it until a hand fracture ended his season. But Golden State saw something valuable in him when he impressed at the 2014 FIBA World Cup Championship, particularly against the Philadelphia 76ers, when he torched them for 17 points and 7 boards.
In Game five of the 2015 NBA Finals, Leandro had his biggest point explosion hitting for 13 points and 2 rebounds, putting more pressure on a Cleveland team missing Kyrie Irving as LeBron James felt the pressure of carrying his team throughout until even he wore down.
In the clinching 105-97 win on the Cleveland home court, Barbosa contributed five points, three rebounds, and an assist off the bench. Barbosa joins Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs, 2014) as the only Brazilians to win a NBA Championship.
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