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Golden State Warriors hire Leandro Barbosa as player-mentor coach

Former NBA guard Leandro Barbosa has retired from playing professional basketball and will join Steve Kerr’s staff with the Golden State Warriors as a player-mentor coach.

Barbosa, who played 14 years in the league, and most recently was playing professionally in Brazil before the COVID-19 pandemic cut his team’s season short, won a championship with the Warriors in 2014-15 and is excited to be reunited with Kerr and several of his former teammates.cheap nfl nike jersey

“He’s been my coach, when I was here he also was my friend,” Barbosa said of Kerr during a Monday conference call with reporters. “We had a really close relationship when he was a GM for the Phoenix Suns, so every once in a while we used to talk. And he mentioned to me what I want to do after I played and I always told him that I wanted to be an assistant coach, not a head coach, but be able to talk to the players, kind of teach them, I think I’m kind of good at that. He gave me the opportunity and I talked to the family, my wife, and she said, “Yes, let’s do it.”

Livingston, 35, spent five seasons with the Warriors and won three NBA championships before retiring before last season. A formal announcement by the team is expected Tuesday.7

Barbosa, 37, said he has kept in touch with Kerr via texts, but talks got more serious in the last week after Barbosa decided to retire from playing and transition into coaching. His new role will include sitting on the “back of the bench” during games, but also working out with players during practice and teaching them off-the-court lessons as well.

Barbosa praised former teammate and new Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash as someone who helped with lessons on and off the floor.

“I will be on the court, on the practice facility,” Barbosa said. “I also will be practicing with the guys because I’m capable, I’m still in shape … I will be talking to the players, all the experience that I have over the years that I play on the NBA [stage], I think I have a chance to talk to them and make them understand what this business is all about.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

For Barbosa, the new chapter comes after some emotional ups and downs over the past year, which included him and his wife testing positive for COVID-19.

“When we had that, it was [a] crazy time,” Barbosa said. “Especially for me, because I didn’t know it was that bad when I got the virus. I’m glad I had somebody that could take of me and talk to the doctors because I couldn’t fight. I didn’t have the power to fight against this virus.”

Now healthy and recovered, Barbosa admitted that he was “sad” to be leaving his home country of Brazil to come back to the United States in the midst of the pandemic, but he was looking forward to when things were back to normal in the future.