I have it from reliable sources that Leandro returned to Phoenix late last night and surprised his team mates today in the locker room. He was in Brazil with his ailing mother who appears to be ok.
And while I am sure everyone is glad to have him back and all will be happy with the outcome, you can't help but feel a bit of disappointment for Alando Tucker who made the most of his opportunity.
I am sure LB will need some time to get back into shape giving Tucker a few more games to put the pressure on Terry Porter. This is shaping up to be the Suns deepest position.
The Suns have three guys that can give very different looks at the 2 guard.
Wily tough vet Bell with his tenacious D and 3 point range. Explosive Barbosa who is a threat to score 25 in any given game. And now Tucker who plays with a lot of poise and maturity and can bang down low, finish after contact, rebound his position and is looking solid from mid-range.
A good problem to have. I look forward to seeing LB back on the court and am very happy for his family.
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 10/13/08 2:01 PM PDT ]
Here's the official word from the team.
After missing all of training camp and the Phoenix Suns’ first three pre-season games, Leandro Barbosa is back from Brazil. Barbosa was with the team on Media Day and then left the team to fly to Brazil so he could tend to his sick mother.
Many of the players didn’t realize LB would be back at practice this morning. The flight from Brazil to Phoenix is 13 hours and he didn’t get in until 10:00am this morning. He left the airport and came right to practice. When someone asked him about the flight, he only said, "It’s a long flight."
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 10/13/08 2:44 PM PDT ]
Audio now available.
Barbosa says "...first time I've been working a lot of defense in my life." Nice.
Audio prodived by Sports.ktar.com