Friday, November 14, 2008
Barbosa leaves Suns for Brazil following mother's death
By Henry Abbott
Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa has left the team to join his family in Brazil following the death of his 66-year-old mother.
Dona Ivete Barbosa had been fighting pneumonia in a Brazilian hospital for more than a month.
The 6-foot-3 Barbosa, considered one of the fastest players in the NBA, missed two weeks of training camp under new coach Terry Porter out of concern for his mother's health. He's been out of sync much of the time on the court, though he did score 18 points in a fight-marred loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Barbosa is known to be extremely close to his family, particularly his mother and his brother, Arturo.
It is not yet known when Barbosa will rejoin the Suns. Brazilian newspaper reports cite family members saying the Suns have been gracious in offering Barbosa time off to be with his family.
TrueHoop founder Henry Abbott covers the NBA for ESPN.com.