Longtime NBA guard Leandro Barbosa has announced his retirement as a basketball player, indicating in an Instagram post that he’ll be rejoining the Warriors as a “player mentor” coach. The team has issued a press release confirming the hiring of Barbosa.
“I guess I am ready for a new beginning, a new road,” Barbosa wrote. “Nevertheless I will continue with the good old orange ball. The transition will be quick, as it always has been to me. It is a great joy to announce my return to the Golden State Warriors as a Player Mentor Coach. I have no doubts I will feel right at home, after all, it was always like that as a player and it has been that way ever since.”
Barbosa only spent two of his 14 NBA seasons in Golden State, but he was an important scorer off the bench for the Warriors from 2014-16, winning his first and only NBA championship with the team in 2015.
The Brazilian Blur spent the first seven years of his NBA career in Phoenix, winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2007 when he averaged 18.1 PPG and 4.0 APG on .476/.434/.845 shooting for the Suns. Barbosa also had stints with the Raptors, Pacers, and Suns, as well as two reunions with the Suns later in his career.
For his career, Barbosa averaged 10.6 PPG and 2.1 APG on .459/.387/.821 shooting in 850 regular season NBA games, appearing in another 119 postseason contests. The 37-year-old hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016/17 season, having spent the last few years in his home country playing in the Brazilian League.