Blink, and you may have missed what Leandro Barbosa was doing on Sunday just outside of Las Vegas.
The former Golden State Warriors guard – and current player mentor coach for the club – may have officially announced his retirement as an NBA player last year, but Barbosa is still tearing it up on the court. On Sunday, “The Brazlian Blur” led his Ball Hogs squad to a 51-42 victory against the Aliens in BIG3 Week 2 action in Paradise, Nevada by going off for a game-high 27 points – including four 3-pointers (but no “four-pointers”) – and contributing a game-best five assists as well.
The Ball Hogs are now 2-0, which is already halfway to their win total from their first three seasons combined.
The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Co-founded by actor and hip-hop musician Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, the BIG3 is a three-on-three basketball league that started in 2017 and includes former NBA players and international players. The league has 12 teams and follows with “major deviations” from the officials rules of three-on-three basketball as administered by FIBA.
Barbosa Spent 2 Seasons Coming off of the Warriors Bench
Though he’s now a 38-year-old star in the BIG3, Barbosa crafted a successful 14-season NBA career with five teams, primarily the Phoenix Suns. Barbosa was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 28th pick during the 2003 NBA draft, but was then traded to the Suns, where he spent nine years over three different stints, including the first seven seasons of his career.
During his fourth season in Phoenix, Barbosa won the Sixth Man of the Year award after posting career-highs in points (18.1), assists (4.0), and minutes per game (32.7), while also recording a career-best 56.2% effective field goal percentage. Following his first and second runs with the Suns and before joining Golden State, Barbosa suited up for the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics.
After helping lead his native Brazil to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Quarterfinals, Barbosa signed with the Dubs in September of that year and carved out an important bench role on the 2015 title-winning group. Over 134 career games (all but one of them off of the bench) in the Bay Area, Barbosa averaged 6.7 points per game in 15.4 minutes of action on a 46.8/36.9/80.9 shooting line.
‘Brazilian Blur’ Isn’t Only Member of Ball Hogs With a Dubs Connection
Despite this being Barbosa’s rookie season in the BIG3, he holds the role of co-captain alongside former Spanish League basketball champion Will McDonald. Former NBA player Brian Scalabrine is the team’s captain and the other two players on the roster are former NBA players Jodie Meeks and Spencer Hawes.
In his fourth season as the Ball Hogs head coach is Hall-of-Famer and Warriors legend Rick Barry. The 77-year-old former forward is considered one of the best players not only in Dubs history, but NBA history as well, having made 12 All-Star teams, four All-ABA teams, and six All-NBA teams.
Barry was the 1966 Rookie of the Year and later led Golden State to their first ever title by winning the Finals MVP in 1975.
According to the Ball Hogs’ team page, they missed the playoffs in each of their first three seasons and the only returning player from last season is Scalabrine. With Barbosa leading the team in scoring and showing that he’s still got it in his late 30s, it wouldn’t be a surprise for the team to make their postseason debut this year.