It's official, the man they call the "Brazilian Blur" has received the NBA's Sixth Man award. Leandro Barbosa ran away with the award, taking 101 of a possible 127 first place votes. Manu Ginobili and Jerry Stackhouse finished second and third respectively, but they weren't even close to challenging Barbosa, who finished with an average of 18 points per game and shot 43% from three-point land.
As you might imagine, Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant had some back-handed compliments to add to the story, considering that they're in the middle of a playoff series against the Suns. Phil was less than impressed with the "Brazilian Blur" moniker:
That's a really weak nickname," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Couldn't you call him something better than that? Blur doesn't even designate how fast this guy is. He's even faster than that."
And after the way Barbosa played in Game 1 against the Lakers, Kobe had a suggestion for rewarding him for this achievement:
"Give him a soccer ball," the Lakers ' Kobe Bryant said when asked what could be done to stop Barbosa. "Tell him Brazilians should be playing soccer, not basketball."
I'm sure Kobe and the rest of the Lakers would like that, especially since all they have is the likes of Smush Parker and Sasha Vujacic trying to guard him. Anyway, congrats to Barbosa, he played so well off the bench that he was really the only choice for the award this season.