Barbosa’s Prophetic “We Gonna Be Championship” Comes True

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After thirteen seasons, seven franchises, and one career-threatening ACL injury, Leandro Barbosa is finally an NBA Champion. At age 32, the oldest player on Golden State’s roster wasn’t even born the last time the Warriors won a title, but Leandrino helped deliver one to Oakland throughout the Finals, including a pivotal Game 5. In his best game of the series, the Brazilian Blur sparked the Warriors off the bench scoring 13 points and grabbing a couple of rebounds in 17 minutes.

“Oh, L.B. was fantastic,” said Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr after Game 5, referring to Barbosa. “But not surprising, really. L.B. has been around a long time. He’s got a lot of playoff experience, and he’s had an excellent series for us.”

League MVP Stephen Curry also praised his veteran teammate from the podium adding, “L.B. came in tonight and did what he was supposed to do and impacted the game on the offensive end and defensive end.”

A man of many monikers, Barbosa has been referred to as L.B. by coaches and teammates since his rookie days with the frenetic “7 Seconds or Less” Phoenix Suns. Like Kerr and Assistant Coach Alvin Gentry, Barbosa is a holdover from those quicksilver Suns, and on the court for the Warriors he is the physical embodiment of a hoops ethos that many believed would never succeed on a championship level.

“He has a way about him; as soon as he touches the ball, he’s activated and ready to go,” Curry told the San Jose Mercury News before the Finals. “He brings the energy, and when he’s able to produce and get to the basket and make plays, he has that flashiness about him.”

Earlier this season, a prescient Barbosa was captured on live television exclaiming “We gonna be championship!” to a sideline reporter. In the Finals-clinching Game 6, he contributed 5 points, 3 boards, and 2 steals in 14 minutes on the hardwood. The spirit, joy, and love for the game Barbosa brings to the Warriors cannot be quantified in a box score, which Kerr himself acknowledges.

“The impact he’s made on this team is dramatic,” Kerr told the Mercury News. “It goes beyond just what he does on the floor. Such a big part of this game is chemistry and unity and the energy that comes from the entire group. And that stuff factors in.”

As Warriors fans from the Bay Area to Brazil celebrate their first NBA championship in forty years, few would argue with him.