Watch out Tebow and Jeremy Lin, Barbosa-mania is sweeping the country. Well, at least it’s created a very small buzz amongst Pacer fans. The newest edition of the team made an impressive debut in Indiana by scoring an efficient 12 points against the Clippers. He has had his share of struggles as well but he helped spark the team’s huge win over the Heat by hitting multiple three-pointers in the second half and had a nice 14-point outing against his former team on Monday.
Many fans were unsure exactly what Leandro would bring when the trade was announcer, but Barbosa has now proven that he can still be a useful scorer off the bench going forward for a good team.
And what better way to help fans connect with a new back-up guard then to try to establish a good nickname for Mr. Barbosa. So I’ll throw a couple suggestions out there and we’ll see if anything sticks. Also, if you have any ideas of your own, feel free to throw them in the comments.
The Brazilian Blur
All right, I didn’t come up with this one. Barbosa has had this nickname for most of his career due to his Brazilian decent and his blistering speed. It definitely fits him. The only problem I have with it is that it doesn’t really suggest a new beginning. Sure, the Brazilian Blur was the talk of the NBA in 2007 when he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award, but his relevancy sort of dropped off (perhaps unfairly) as the Suns started to lose all their good players other than Steve Nash. Not to mention his most recent stint in Toronto where, in my opinion, nicknames go to die. Two years in Toronto and we might all forget who Jeremy Lin is.
Part of me wants something fresh for Leandro for his return to basketball relevancy. Maybe if I heard announcers saying things like, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Brazilian Blur is back,” after a drive to the basket then I might be able toget on board with it.
This is another one that I didn’t make up. “Leandrinho” is the nickname that he was so graciously anointed with in Brazil, which translates directly to Little Leandro. Got to appreciate the fact that his home land awarded him with a seemingly condescending nickname. Also, Barbosa is 6’3″. Last time I checked that’s not very little. Are the people in Brazil just incredibly tall and no one told me? If Leandro is “little” I can only imagine what they would call me.
The main problem I have with calling him little is that he isn’t even the smallest player on the team. What does that say about the players even shorter than him? If Barbosa is “Little Leandro” what does that make Darren Collison? “Diminutive Darren?”
Not Boris Diaw
It might be easy to associate Leandro Barbosa with Boris Diaw. They were teammates. They are both foreign-born players. They both enjoyed their best seasons while Steve Nash was their point guard. They were both traded from Phoenix to struggling franchises.
But Leandro Barbosa is not Boris Diaw. Leandro Barbosa remained committed to the sport of basketball in the past couple years. Leandro Barbosa also stayed in shape. Boris Diaw got fat. I mean, Boris Diaw got really fat. He was also recently bought out by the Bobcats. How often do you hear the words “bought out by the Bobcats?” Being released from the Bobcats is like being the meat that gets thrown out at Taco Bell because it’s too low-quality. That out of shape.
So I think “Not Boris Diaw” could work. We could call him “NBD” for short. Imagine Barbosa scoring off a screen and then being able to say, “that was so NBD.”
I dont know, it kind of sounds like Indy 500. And, you know, he’s really fast. It’s kind of a stretch. At least I’m trying …
B.O.B. (Barbosa Off the Bench)
I’ll be honest, I like this one mainly because of the potential of blasting a B.O.B. song in the arena every time Leandro checks into the game. I think one of the coolest things about baseball is player’s at-bat music. There are so many good B.O.B. songs to choose from. There could be a different one for each quarter.
A good sixth man is supposed to come into the game and provide a jolt of offensive energy a la Jason Terry (who himself has the acronym nickname J.E.T., which he embraces by imitating an airplane). Imagine if you are sitting at the arena through the sometimes dull moments of the second quarter when all of a sudden “Airplanes” starts blaring and the PA announcer says, “And now checking into the game, LEANDROOOOOO BAAAAAAARRRRRBOOOOOOOSAAAAAA.” Boom, you’re back into the game and ready to see Barbosa take it to the rim.