Smack / Sep 7, 2009 / 3:34 am

Leandro Barbosa leads Brazil to gold; Jordan’s worst idea yet

Barbosa for Team Brazil

Barbosa for Team Brazil

Similar to the Vegas/Orlando summer leagues, you don’t want to read too much into the FIBA Americas tournament as far as projecting how its standouts will do in the upcoming NBA season, especially when Team USA sat this one out. But it’s hard not to be impressed by Leandro Barbosa‘s recent work and predict big things for him this season. In leading Brazil to the tournament gold medal yesterday, as well as a spot in the 2010 World Championships, Barbosa averaged 21.1 points on 55% shooting from the field. It was a down year for Barbosa in ’08-09. On top of the Suns experimenting with a slower-paced system that just doesn’t work for his game, Barbosa also lost his mother and was basically out of it for most of the year. His game picked up when Terry Porter was fired and Phoenix went baack to their regular up-tempo system, but this is something of a fresh start for him, and we can see a big-time effort reminiscent of Barbosa’s Sixth Man of the Year campaign in ’07 … In yesterday’s gold medal game against host country Puerto Rico, Barbosa led Brazil with 24 points (9-23 FG, 1-8 3PA), while Tiago Splitter added 13 points and nine rebounds, and Anderson Varejao posted eight points and eight boards. Brazil was up by 13 going into the fourth quarter, but after PR benched its starters (including Carlos Arroyo), the second unit — including ex-Miami guard Guillermo Diaz and former Nuggets draft pick Ricky Sanchez — led a comeback. In the final minute it was a two-possession game, and in the final 30 seconds it became a free throw contest. Puerto Rico was down by one on their last possession when Arroyo (14 pts) missed a three at the buzzer … In the bronze-medal game, Argentina smacked Canada, taking a big lead in the first quarter and cruising from there. Luis Scola dropped 27 points, completing a tourney where he averaged 23 and about seven boards. One of the players we haven’t mentioned yet who put in work was Argentina’s point guard, Pablo Prigioni (10.1 ppg, 7.4 apg, 2.6 spg). At 32 years old, the 6-4 Prigioni is arguably the best PG in the same Spanish league that Ricky Rubio plays in. Coming to the NBA isn’t really in the cards for him, though. He makes way more money overseas than he would here, plus his age makes him not the most attractive NBA prospect. He’s kind of like Chauncey Billups in Spain …

Mrs. Barbosa

Mrs. Barbosa

And just because it’s a holiday, here’s the trophy Barbosa would go home to even if he’d lost yesterday: his Brazilian actress wife Samara Felippo (right) … Meanwhile, the FIBA European Championship tips off today, with the 16-team field consisting of Spain (Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, J.C. Navarro, Jorge Garbajosa), France (Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Ronny Turiaf, Nic Batum), Germany, Russia, Turkey (Hedo Turkoglu), Lithuania (Linas Kleiza), Croatia, Latvia (Andris Biedrins), Great Britain (Pops Mensah-Bonsu), Serbia (Nenad Krstic), Greece (Kosta Koufos, Nick Calathes, Vasileios Spanoulis, Baby Shaq), Israel, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovenia (Boki Nachbar, Primoz Brezec, Goran Dragic) and the host country Poland (Marcin Gortat, Maciej Lampe) … Among the non-actives: Dirk Nowitzki isn’t playing for Germany because the Mavs wouldn’t let him, Andrei Kirilenko is out for Russia, and Ben Gordon and Luol Deng aren’t playing for Britain because Deng is still recovering from an injury and BG, well, he just signed a $50 million deal and Joe Dumars ain’t having that … And ex-UPenn star Ibrahim Jaaber isn’t playing for Bulgaria because he’s in the middle of Ramadan and isn’t eating or drinking during daylight hours. Hakeem Olajuwon played through Ramadan when it fell during the NBA season — not even drinking water during afternoon games — and his numbers usually dropped during that time due to the expected loss of strength … Allen Iverson update: He’s reportedly close to accepting the Grizzlies’ one-year offer for somewhere between $3.5 million and $4.4 million, as he and Memphis owner Michael Heisley about arranging a face-to-face meeting. Let’s say Memphis goes with a (starting and/or crunch-time) lineup of O.J. Mayo at the point, Iverson at the two, Rudy Gay at the three, Zach Randolph at the four and Marc Gasol at the five, with Mike Conley, Hasheem Thabeet and Sam Young rounding out the top eight. How many games can they win? Consider that the Southwest Division is especially tough, with the Spurs, Mavs, Rockets and Hornets … At least Andrew Bogut doesn’t think the Bucks will match Ramon Sessions‘ offer sheet from the Wolves. “He’s got a great contract in Minnesota. We wish him all the best, but I think with the point guards we have on our roster now, it would be tough to find minutes for all four with a fourth point guard,” Bogut said in a HoopsHype interview. “We have time to match but I don’t see it, honestly.” … Forget Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison; this one needs to be at the top of Michael Jordan‘s resume the next time he goes for a front-office job. Former Bulls GM Jerry Krause revealed to the Boston Globe that back in 1987, Jordan was pushing him to draft Joe Wolf, but Krause stuck to his guns and took his guy. Some kid named Scottie Pippen … We’re out like Sessions …

* Follow Dime on Twitter: @DIMEMag

* Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Supremeng

    23 the executive may have been the biggest bust ever! the kwame brown of gm.

  • http://twitter.com/anthonyeladjo abpin

    she nice. she nice.

    when’s tiago splitter comin to play for the spurs?

  • Sambuu

    hello Mrs. Brazilian Blur

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    In MJ’s defense Joe Wolf did have as good a rookie season as Scottie that year and he was a UNC guy. However he’s lucky Krause made the right choice because for Wolf it was all down hill from there which makes sense considering he ended up being the Clippers first pick.

  • Flip

    Man, I just hope Rubio isn’t gonna pulla Tiago Splitter and never join the NBA…

    What about Scola? He’s a beast in international play, maybe he can lift some of that Yao load next year!

  • That’s whats up

    just goes to show, even the goofiest looking dude on the planet can get a hot piece of ass…….if you’re making that paper

    That will definitely be Leandro Barbosa’s career accomplishment

  • S-SiN

    Joe Muthafuken Wolfe, huh..

  • S-SiN

    Krause was always made out to be the Bulls dark villain. Mike didn’t want Oak to get traded for Cartwright, so he pushed for a center in the draft? In 87 Bulls picked up Horace Grant to replace Oakley.

    Wait, didn’t Pippen get drafted by the Sonics?

  • sh!tfaced

    hello, hello mrs barbie… just became a barbosa fan right there…

    only hedo? memo okur isn’t playing for turkey?

    damn… if that’s true, mj already sucked at drafting even early in his career, huh?

    during the brazil-puerto rico game, someone got a tech for excessive flopping… think they should seriously consider doing that in the nba…

  • J.Hicks

    Seattle had the 5th pick that year and took Pippen. Chicago had the 8th pick and took Olden Polynice then traded him to the Sonics. I’m assuming they agreed on the trade beforehand, so the Sonics were basically drafting Pippen for the Bulls.

  • Spangatanga

    i think its total bullcrap, players can’t play for their country because of mil. doller deals.
    2 years ago F. Elson was almost air lifted out of a Dutch basketball arena by a Spurs helicopter, because he got poked in the eye.
    Never to return again in the Fiba qualifing tournament, for the Netherlands, thanx to San Antonio management.
    NBA teams should accept, that players have other duties, like their national teams.
    If they want to play, let them play.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qtOTBQcbiM&feature=related rodnets

    True Scola was a beast, but it really helped that Prigioni was at the point. They share playing time in Tau Ceramica back then in Spain.

    Prigioni had 7.1 assists per game in the tournament, most of them came of finding open Scola to rip defenses open.

    A sort of poor man’s Stockton to Malone.

    Let’s hope Houston Pgs can share the rock with Luifa, and TMac learns to be a shot when necessari Guard.

    Peace

  • Ross

    Poor example, Spangatanga, but I see your point.

  • http://www.jd-shoes.com jordan 6 rings

    Chicago had the 8th pick and took Olden Polynice then traded him to the Sonics. I’m assuming they agreed on the trade beforehand, so the Sonics were basically drafting Pippen for the Bulls.

  • http://www.jd-shoes.com jordan 6 rings

    If you like cheap supra shoes and jordan 6 rings, welcome to my site.

  • Maynard

    I’m not saying Jordan is a good judge of talent as an executive or anything — it’s become obvious he’s not — but maybe he should get a pass for his lack of wanting Pippen since there’s a good chance he had never seen Central Arkansas play. Krause had seen Pippen, and he wasn’t alone, which is why he knew how good he was and that he had to trade up over Sacramento to get him.

    Also, Krause didn’t get everything right. He nailed Pippen, by all means, but didn’t he want Mr. Wolf over Horace Grant but got talked into taking Grant by the coaching staff? He also took Brad Sellers over Jordan’s recommendation of Johnny Dawkins in 1986. Didn’t see Krause reveal THAT to the Boston Globe.

  • silky

    so basically this year mike realized he was gonna mess up the draft either way… so he said fk it.. ima draft a dukie…. SAY SUMTHIN

    who cares about a bobcat anyways?
    out like a legacy

  • Big Island

    I clicked on this to see what Jordan’s worst idea ever was and you did not disappoint. Barbosa’s wife is nuts.

  • mtindore520

    a new found respect for The Blur…WOW! i would’ve never…

  • ponky_alolor

    damn, i swear i couldn’t read anything more after mrs. barbosa’s picture….

  • nba

    Krause took Brad Sellers over Jordan’s recommendation of Johnny Dawkins in 1986.

    Why didn’t he discuss this with the Boston Globe. I swear I hate this disgusting man.

  • doc

    Mike worst desision ever was not signing that prenup.MOB Mike MOB.

  • Jay Jay

    Baby Shaq? …Who’s Baby Shaq?

  • Claw

    @sh!tfaced – You for real? Did somebody get a T for flopping? That should be a rule change, be tough for the referees to call though.

    Barbosa’s wife without the cash would be the chick that Eddie Murphy dressed up in the movie Norbit.