Leandro Barbosa

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Posted by motoman 02/28/2009 @ 09:02

Tags : leandro barbosa, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
Rondo, Allen for Stoudemire: Could It Actually Be a Good Move for ... - Bleacher Report
by Brian Hutchison (Scribe) Trade Rumor: Boston Celtics trade Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen to the Phoenix Suns for Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa, and the Suns 14th overall draft pick. I realize this is just a rumor going around without any credible...
Leandro Barbosa confirms presence for American Cup - Xinhua
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- While on vacation in Brazil, NBA player Leandro Barbosa of Phoenix Suns said on Saturday that he will play in the American Cup of basketball in August. Barbosa said that the Brazilian team was a whole and it is one of...
Timberwolves draft options - part one - Examiner.com
In the year Kevin McHale drafted Ebi, Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa and Josh Howard were all selected with the last picks in that draft. All three have successful NBA careers, showing that there's still solid value in the 28th pick....
A Rondo no-no: Celtics would be wise not to deal young point guard - Examiner.com
What's more, apparently the Suns have offered some package including Amar'e Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and a first-round draft pick. The same story – which was teased on SI.com and appeared in full at www.hoopsworld.com - goes on to say that both...
Suns back in draft business - AZ Central.com
5, 2009 11:37 AM After a nice relationship with the draft - Amaré Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa were selected in 2002 and 2003 - the two split up over money issues. It was cheaper for Phoenix to not be involved, so the Suns traded away five...
The IBA?: Should The NBA Go International? - Bleacher Report
Speedy Leandro Barbosa is from Brazil. The San Antonio Spurs should be named after a foreign country instead of a city in Texas! And don't forget about the big man from China, Yao Ming. In recent years, the NBA has made it a point to look in other...
Wolves nab sweet sweep - Cay Compass
He gave the kind of hustle that would make NBA star Leandro Barbosa proud. Esso meanwhile never gave up and the stats sheet was certainly encouraging. Samuel O'Garro had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Perry Levy had 20 points, Kevin Maxwell had 14 points...
International Story - SLAM Online
Some of the biggest names on those teams were ones that originated in places other than America: Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Leandro Barbosa, Manu Ginobili. When asked what the NBA would be like without its international flair, the Lakers' long-haired...
NBA Draft '09 Stock Watch: Wayne Ellington - Dime Magazine
The Suns (#14) have a pair of quality sg's in Jason Richardson and Leandro Barbosa, but J-Rich's contract comes up next summer, and Ellington is a better outside shooter than both of them. But the Suns' bigger need is a backup PG, so I think they'll...

Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras

Palmeiras logo

Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, usually called Palmeiras, is a Brazilian football team from São Paulo. The team was founded on August 26, 1914, as Società Sportiva Palestra Italia but changed to the current name on September 14, 1942. It is one of the most popular and traditional Brazilian clubs.

Palmeiras was founded by Luigi Cervo, Vicenzo Ragognetti, Luigi Emanuele Marzo and Ezequiel Simone, four Italian men who were members of the Italian-speaking community of São Paulo and was initially named Palestra Italia. Its original colors were red, white and green (those of Italy). The name change occurred during World War II. Brazil entered the war supporting the allies and its dictatorship forced Palestra Italia to change its name because of the reference to Italy. The original badge (a white ornamental "P" in a shield) is still present in the current one and the club has used red as a third colour (mostly in friendship games during the club's 75th anniversary).

Several other clubs whose names alluded to enemy foreign countries either disappeared (like Germania) or were renamed during the same period. Another Brazilian club that was once also called Palestra Italia is Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. However Palmeiras was the original Palestra Italia, since it was founded about a decade before Cruzeiro.

In its history, the club has won 22 championships of the State of São Paulo and 5 Rio-São Paulo Tournament, but the most important titles have been 6 national league titles ( 4 Campeonato Brasileiros and 2 Torneios Roberto Gomes Pedrosa), 4 national cups (1 Brazil Cup, 2 Taças Brasil and 1 Brazilian Champion's Cup), 1 Libertadores Cup, 1 Mercosur Cup and the 1951 Copa Rio . Palmeiras is recognised as one of Brazil's most victorious clubs. In 1999, the Club was claimed by Federação Paulista de Futebol 'Champion of The 20th Century' in Brazil.

The club has had a rather irregular history alternating between periods of intense success and failure. In the 1960s and early 1970s for instance, the club collected trophies, having played several times the Libertadores Cup and won the Brazilian Championship (Campeonato Brasileiro) twice (1972/73). Then the club found itself in a fifteen-year hiatus without any significant trophies until 1992 when the club signed a sponsorship deal with Italian dairy giant Parmalat; the deal lasted for eight years and quickly turned Palmeiras into Brazil's richest club, allowing the club to purchase many valuable assets for their squad such as Edmundo, Zinho and Edilson. During the Parmalat era (which started in 1992) Palmeiras won the Brazilian Championship twice (1993/94), the Brazilian Cup (1998), the Mercosur Cup (1998) and the Libertadores Cup (1999). Palmeiras went to Division 2 in 2003 but came back to Division 1 the following year as the Division 2 champions.

Famous coach Luiz Felipe Scolari led the team to one of the club's most important titles: The 1999 Libertadores Cup. The final match was against Deportivo Cali from Colombia. Important players from that team were World Cup winner goalkeeper Marcos, as well as Alex de Souza, Evair, Paulo Nunes and Cesar Sampaio.

Palmeiras is the Brazilian club with the most participations in Copa Libertadores (13), winning it once (1999) and reaching the finals in other three times (1961, 1968 and 2000).

Parmalat sponsorship ended in 2000 and left the club in dire straits. After a mildly irregular season in 2001 — the biggest achievement was a Libertadores Cup semifinal against Boca Juniors— the club faced its worst year ever in 2002 and was relegated to the Second Division, which it won in the following year, returning to the First Division in 2004. Ever since its comeback, the club has been on the rise. The 2004 and 2005 seasons were rather successful when the team qualified for the Libertadores Cup. The 2006 season was not good since the team finished the Campeonato Brasileiro in the 16th position, followed by a 7th position in 2007 season.

In 2008 Palmeiras made a partership contract with Traffic, a Sports Marketing Agency. Besides that, the club made some big investments on some big name players and also on coach Vanderley Luxemburgo. This new strategy paid up, since the club won for the 22nd time the Paulista Championship.

Also in 2008 Palmeiras won the Sao Paulo State Cup with a 5 X 0 victory over Ponte Preta. Palmeiras also finished 4th in the Campeanato Brasileiro, which qualified them to the 2009 edition of the Copa Libertadores.

Palmeiras plays home games at the Palestra Italia Stadium. In the past its capacity was listed as 35,000 spectators. However, even though its grandstands have been extended in the late 1990s, currently it seats 27,640 people due to regulations enforcing improved safety and comfort. The venue is also known as Parque Antártica because the area was a park built by Antarctica Paulista Company in the beginning of the last century, being acquired by Palmeiras in 1920.

Local derbies against São Paulo are still played at home while derbies against Corinthians are usually played in larger stadium.

There is a rebuild in course to reformulate all installation until Dec 2010. The project offers the first FIFA ready stadium in South America, announcing as Multi Purpose Events Arena (shows, seminars, meetings, parties, etc.). Capacitiy will be increased upt to 40,000 seats and 2,000 press staff, on soccer games. Many other facilites will be in place as: enhanced parking area, VIP area, 03 Restaurant and Bar, Helicopter Point, etc.

Palmeiras first kit is of green jerseys, white shorts and green socks. Palmeiras first jersey was green with a horizontal white band across, with a red and white Savoy cross as crest . Palmeiras have played in blue shirts twice as a tribute to the Italian National Team.

Since 2007 Palmeiras has also been using a third jersey, which is a light yellow shirt with a dark green shorts and socks.

Palmeiras' biggest rival is Corinthians. The rivalry between the two clubs is considered one of the most intense in the world, and their matches are known as The Paulista Derby. São Paulo FC is another direct rival; the games between the two clubs are called Choque Rei (King Clash).

Palmeiras has a "second" team that plays the third division of the Paulista Championship (Série A3).

Palmeiras was featured heavily in the film O Casamento de Romeu e Julieta where the rivalry between Palmeiras and Corinthians plays a major role in the plot.

The club associates congregate in a general assembly every four years to elect the seventy-six members of the Conselho Deliberativo (Deliberating Council) who in their turn chose amongst them a president for a two-year mandate . As of 2006 the president can only be re-elected once .

Palmeiras anthem was composed in 1949 by conductor Antonio Sergi. Sergi also wrote the lyrics for the anthem, but did that under the pseudonym Gennaro Rodrigues.

Palmeiras has a victorious tradition in various sports, such as rink hockey and basketball. Leandro Barbosa and Oscar Schmidt, two of the best Brazilian basketball players of all time, started their careers at Palmeiras.

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Showdown in Chinatown

Showdown in Chinatown logo.jpg

Showdown in Chinatown was a charity soccer match played on June 25, 2008, organized by basketball player Steve Nash and soccer player Claudio Reyna to benefit their respective charity foundations. The nine-a-side match was played at Nike Field in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, and the two teams included National Basketball Association and international soccer players.

Nash and Reyna became friends, as Nash spent his off-seasons in New York City and regularly played pick-up soccer, and Reyna played for the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. The previous summer, Nash and Reyna attempted to play a pick-up game between one of Nash's teams and the Red Bulls in Central Park's Sheep Meadow, but park regulations prohibited ball playing on the field.

Of the players in the match, Nash, Leandro Barbosa and Raja Bell played together on the Phoenix Suns, and all grew up playing soccer. Basketball players Jason Kidd, who calls soccer "my first sport", and Baron Davis, as well as ESPN.com basketball writer Marc Stein, a Manchester City FC supporter, and Sandri, who had played professionally in Italy.

Reyna, Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore, who had completed a move to Villarreal CF in Spain earlier that month, played together for the Red Bulls, while Giovanni Savarese played for the club from 1996 to 1998, when it was known as the MetroStars. Other professional soccer players who took part Thierry Henry and Steve McManaman, both friends of Nash,, McManaman's former Liverpool FC teammates Robbie Fowler and Rob jones, Reyna's united States national team teammate Gregg Berhalter, andSalomon Kalou, who heard about the match and happened to be on holiday in New York City.

Team Nash beat Team Reyna Team, on three goals from Robbie Fowler and two goals each from Henry and Nash. Team Nash started the match down 0-2, but Henry took control of the game with a shift to a more attacking 1-3-3 formation, assisting on a goal by McManaman and scoring the equalizer himself.

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2003 NBA Draft

The 2003 NBA Draft logo.

The 2003 NBA Draft was held on June 26, 2003 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from high schools and non-North American leagues. The draft was broadcast on ESPN at 7:30 PM (EDT). The NBA announced that 42 college and high school players and a record 31 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2003 NBA Draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had a 22.50 percent probability of obtaining the first selection, won the NBA Draft Lottery on May 22, and Cleveland chairman Gordon Gund said afterward his team would select LeBron James. The Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets were second and third respectively.

The 2003 Draft is known for having one of the most talented draft pools in draft history and mostly known as the re-birth of the NBA. 4 of the top 5 picks are NBA All-Stars and "Redeem Team" Olympic Gold Medalists: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Many players have been in the starting line-ups of their respective teams; seven have already participated in an All-Star Game, Dwyane Wade was named NBA Finals MVP in 2006, Boris Diaw won the Most Improved Player Award in 2006, Jason Kapono won the three point shootout back to back years in 2007 & 2008, and Leandro Barbosa won the Sixth Man Award in 2007. The 2003 draft class has drawn comparisons to the legendary 1984 and 1996 NBA Draft classes, but is also known for the Detroit Pistons making the controversial selection of Darko Miličić with the second pick over other prospects.

Players in bold have been named to at least one All-NBA Team.

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Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns logo

The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Their home arena is the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix.

The Suns have been generally successful since they began play as an expansion team in 1968. In forty years of play they have posted seventeen fifty-win seasons, and made eight trips to the Western Conference Finals, advancing to the NBA Finals in 1976 and 1993. Despite their successes they have yet to win an NBA title. Currently, the team's starting lineup consists of Grant Hill, Shaquille O'Neal, Leandro Barbosa, Jason Richardson, and Steve Nash.

In the late '70s and early '80s, the Suns enjoyed several successful seasons, making the playoffs for 8 seasons in a row. Problems arose however, on and off court, in the mid '80s. In 1987 the Maricopa County Attorney's Office indicted 13 people on drug-related charges, three of whom were active Suns players (James Edwards, Jay Humphries and Grant Gondrezick). These indictments were partially based on testimony from star player Walter Davis, who was given immunity. No defendants ever went to trial: two of the players went into a prosecution diversion program, while another received probation. Nevertheless, the scandal, although now perceived in many respects to be a witchhunt, tarnished the reputation of the franchise both nationally and within the community. The scandal did provide an opening for general manager Jerry Colangelo to lead a group that bought the team from its owners for $44 million, a record at that time.

With a drug scandal and the loss of promising young center Nick Vanos, who was killed in the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255 after taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the franchise was in turmoil on and off the court. The Suns' luck began to turn around in 1987, however, with the acquisition from the Cleveland Cavaliers of Kevin Johnson, Mark West, and Tyrone Corbin for popular power forward Larry Nance. In 1988, Tom Chambers came over from the Seattle SuperSonics as the first unrestricted free agent in NBA history, Jeff Hornacek a 1986 second round pick continued to develop, "Thunder" Dan Majerle was drafted with the 14th pick in the draft, which they obtained from Cleveland in the Kevin Johnson trade, and the team began a 13-year playoff streak. Kurt Rambis was added from the Charlotte Hornets in 1989, and the team (coached by Fitzsimmons), in a shocking upset, beat the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games that season before falling to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. In 1991, The Suns stormed to a 55-27 record, however they lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz 3-1. In 1992, the Suns cruised to a 53-29 record during the regular season. While having sent four players to the all-star game in the last two years (Chambers, Johnson, Hornacek and Majerle), the Suns were poised to make a serious run at the NBA Finals. They showed their poise by sweeping the San Antonio Spurs in 3 games in the first round of the 1992 NBA Playoffs. But once again the Suns fell in five games to the Trail Blazers in the conference semifinals, however the series was punctuated by an electrifying game 4, in which the Suns lost in double overtime 153-151 (the highest scoring game in NBA Playoff history to date). That game would end up being the last game ever played at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Suns were yet again denied a shot at a title, but in subsequent seasons enjoyed even greater success than ever before.

In 1992, the Suns moved into their new arena in downtown Phoenix, the America West Arena (now US Airways Center). The arena was not the only new arrival into Phoenix though, as flamboyant all-star power forward Charles Barkley was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry. Barkley would go on to win his first and only MVP his first year with Phoenix in 1993.

In addition to Barkley, the Suns added some key players to their roster including former Boston Celtic Danny Ainge and drafted players in University of Arkansas center Oliver Miller and forward Richard Dumas (who was actually drafted in 1991 but was suspended for his rookie year for violating the NBA drug policy).

Under rookie head coach Paul Westphal (a former Suns assistant and, as a player, member of the 1976 Suns squad that went to the NBA Finals), the Suns squad consisting mostly of Barkley, Majerle, Johnson and Ainge won 62 games that year. In the first round of the playoffs, they defeated the eighth-seeded Lakers, coming back from an 0-2 deficit in the five game series. The Suns went on to eliminate the Spurs and Sonics, advancing to the Finals for the second time in franchise history. They eventually lost to the Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. This series included a triple-overtime game (Game 3) that along with game 4 of the 1976 series are the only triple overtime games in the history of the NBA finals. Approximately 300,000 fans braved the 105 degree heat to celebrate the memorable season in the streets of Phoenix.

The Suns continued to be successful in the regular season, going 178-68 during the 1992-93, 1993-94, and 1994-95 seasons. They continued to bolster their roster adding players such as A.C. Green, Danny Manning, Wesley Person, Wayman Tisdale, and Elliot Perry. Despite a Pacific Division title in 1995, the Suns ended up being eliminated in consecutive Western Conference Semifinal rounds by the Houston Rockets.One of the big reasons the Suns lost to Houston in 1995 was the fact that Danny Manning injured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament right before the All-Star Break. In both years the Suns led the series by two games at one point (2-0 in 1994, 3-1 in 1995) only to see the Rockets come back to win each series in seven games.

At the end of the 1994–95 season, Phoenix Suns general manager, Bryan Colangelo (son of Jerry) initiated what proved to be a very costly trade, sending all star guard/forward Dan Majerle and a first round draft pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for John "Hot Rod" Williams. Majerle was a favorite amongst the fans in Phoenix as well as the Suns locker room. The trade was made to address the Suns' desperate need of a shot blocking center, but proved frustrating as Majerle's presence was sorely missed, and Williams's production never met expectations.

In the 1996 NBA Draft, the Suns used their 15th pick for guard Steve Nash, of Santa Clara University. Upon hearing the draft announcement, Suns fans booed in disapproval of the relatively unknown player, due to the fact that he had not played in one of the major college conferences. During his first two seasons in the NBA, he played a supporting role behind NBA star point guards Jason Kidd and Kevin Johnson. On June 25, 1998, Nash was traded from the Suns to the Mavericks in exchange for Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells, the draft rights to Pat Garrity, and a first-round draft pick which was later used to select Shawn Marion.

After the Barkley trade, the Suns began the 1996–97 season miserably, starting 0–13 which was a franchise record for the worst start. During the 13-game losing streak Fitzsimmons stepped down as coach and was replaced by former player Danny Ainge.

After an on-the-court altercation between Ainge and Horry, Horry was traded to the Lakers for former Sun and NBA all-star Cedric Ceballos. Cassell was later traded to Dallas for all-star guard Jason Kidd. With a mostly small lineup, the Suns put together an 11-game win streak that put them in the playoffs, in a series that almost upset the highly favored Sonics.

In the off-season prior to the 2000 NBA season the Suns traded for perennial All-Star Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway stirring a large amount of hype by creating the tandem of Kidd and Hardaway, which was called "Backcourt 2000". However, the combination of Hardaway and Kidd was never fully realized as Hardaway would miss a number of games during the middle of the 1999–2000 season and Kidd would break his ankle going into the playoffs just as Hardaway began his return to the court. As the Suns, now led by the returned Hardaway, entered the 2000 playoffs, they shocked the favored San Antonio Spurs by ousting them from the playoffs 3–1 in the best-of-five series. However, even with the return of Kidd at Hardaway's side in the next round, the Suns fell to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in a 4–1 series.

The Suns continued to make the playoffs until the 2001–02 campaign, when they fell short for the first time in 14 years. That season marked the trade of Jason Kidd, partly due to a publicized domestic violence episode, to the New Jersey Nets for Stephon Marbury. Lottery-bound, however, the Suns were able to draft Amar'e Stoudemire.

The 2002–03 campaign saw the emergence of Stoudemire, a graduate from Cypress Creek High School (Orlando, Florida). He became the first ever high school player to win the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 2002–03 season, during which the Suns posted a record of 44–38 and returned to the playoffs. Marbury had a stellar individual season, making the All-NBA Third Team and being selected as a reserve for the 2003 NBA All-Star Game while averaging 22.3 ppg and 8.1 apg. The Suns were eliminated in the first round once again by the San Antonio Spurs, but only after a six-game series with the eventual NBA champions.

In the 2003–04 season, the Suns found themselves out of the playoffs. The Suns made a blockbuster mid-season trade sending Marbury and Hardaway to the New York Knicks.

The beginning of 2004 saw the departure of the face of Suns management since the team's inception, when Jerry Colangelo announced that the Phoenix Suns were to be sold to an investment group headed by San Diego-based business executive (and Tucson native) Robert Sarver for $401 million. However, the 2004-05 season marked the Suns' return to the NBA's elite, with the Suns finishing with the best record in the NBA at 62–20, tying their franchise record that was set by the 1992–93 team. This feat was made possible by the off-season unrestricted FA signing of All-Star point guard Steve Nash from Dallas. Nash would go on to win the MVP award that season. Amar'e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion were named All-Stars that year and first year coach, Mike D'Antoni, was named NBA Coach of the Year.

In the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Phoenix was the first seed in the Western Conference, and because it owned the NBA's best record, it was guaranteed home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Suns swept the Memphis Grizzlies 4-0 and defeated the fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the second round 4-2, Nash forcing Game 6 into OT with a 3-pointer in the dying seconds. In the Western Conference Finals, the Suns played the San Antonio Spurs who won the series 4-1, ending Phoenix's outstanding season, partly due to Joe Johnson missing the first two games of the series. Joe Johnson went on to start the remaining games where he averaged 40 minutes per game and 18.3 PPG. The Suns lost the first 2 at home, fell behind 3-0 in the series but escaped with a win in Game 4 at San Antonio 111-106 but were eliminated at home 101-95. Stoudemire averaged a staggering 37.0 ppg, the highest ever by a player in their first Conference Finals.

The 2005-06 NBA season began with Stoudemire undergoing microfracture surgery in his knee on October 18, 2005. He missed all but three games that year. Along with that, promising shooting guard Joe Johnson demanded a trade to the Atlanta Hawks, in which the Suns got Boris Diaw along with two future first round picks. Other acquisitions this year included Raja Bell and Kurt Thomas. Despite the turnover in players, the Suns were once again able to win the Pacific going 54-28 and capturing the second seed in the Western Conference. Nash was awarded his second consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the second point-guard (Magic Johnson was the first) to win the award multiple times. Also, Diaw was named NBA Most Improved Player.

The Suns began the 2006 Western Conference Playoffs as favorites against the Los Angeles Lakers. After winning Game 1 in Phoenix, they found themselves trailing in the series 3-1 after impressive performances by Laker shooting guard Kobe Bryant. However, the Suns went on to win three straight games. They won Game 5 easily at home. With 7:33 left in the game, Suns guard Raja Bell grabbed Kobe Bryant around the neck and threw him down as the Lakers star drove to the basket. Bell earned a technical foul, his second of the game, and an automatic ejection. The Suns took game 6 in OT, their first OT win all season despite 50 points from Bryant and Bell out serving a one-game suspension (for a flagrant foul against Bryant in Game 5) with last second help from mid-season acquisition Tim Thomas. On their home court, the Suns won Game 7 121-90, eliminating the Lakers for the first time since 1993. The Suns became only the eighth team in NBA history to win a playoff series after being behind 3-1.

In the second round, the Suns faced the Los Angeles Clippers. The series was played closely, with both teams trading games on each others' courts. The series was 2-2 and The Suns faced a huge deficit in Game 5 but fought back and won in double OT and after a Game 6 loss finally won the series in the decisive seventh game on their home court at US Airways Center, winning by a margin of 20 with an NBA record 15 3-point FG's May 22, 2006.

They went on to play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Underdogs this time, The Suns took Game 1 in Dallas by a single point and their May 30 victory in Game 4 marked the most wins thus far for the franchise in a Conference Finals series since the 1993 season. Many credit this success (despite losing Stoudemire) to the emergence of Diaw, Bell (out for two games of the series due to injury), and Barbosa as clutch playoff performers; and an overall team depth they did not possess at all last season. The Suns fought hard in Games 5 and 6 but clearly were no match as they were blown out by a combined 25 points and eliminated from the series on June 3, 2006 in Game 6. It was yet another disappointing end for the Suns.

In the 2006 off-season, the Suns signed Minnesota Timberwolves PG Marcus Banks to a five-year contract worth $21.3 million. Also, the Suns signed G Leandro Barbosa to a five-year contract extension beginning in the 2007-08 season worth approximately $33 million. Diaw was also extended to a five year deal worth approximately $45 million.

The Phoenix Suns finished second in the Western Conference. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, but lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the Conference Semi-Finals.

On June 6, former TNT analyst and NBA three-point specialist, Steve Kerr, was appointed Suns' General Manager and President of Basketball Operations. Kerr is close to team owner Robert Sarver, and is also a part of the Sarver-led investment group that purchased the franchise from Jerry Colangelo.

On June 28, 2007, Spanish SG Rudy Fernández was taken 24th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Suns, who subsequently traded the rights to the pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for cash. SF Alando Tucker of Wisconsin was taken with the 29th pick.

On July 11, 2007, the Suns signed former Orlando Magic SF Grant Hill on a 1-year $1.8 million deal with a player option for a second season at $2 million.

On July 20, 2007, the Suns traded power forward/center Kurt Thomas and two future first-round picks (2008 and 2010) to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for a trade exception of $8 million and a conditional second-round pick.

On August 27, 2007, Maryland guard D. J. Strawberry signed a two-year contract with the Suns that includes a guaranteed first year and a team option for the second season. Strawberry was drafted with the 59th selection in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft; in the 2007 NBA Summer League, he averaged a league-best 6.4 assists.

On October 1, 2007, the Suns signed free agent center Brian Skinner to a one-year deal.

On February 6, 2008, the Suns traded four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion, along with Marcus Banks, to the Miami Heat for Shaquille O'Neal.

On March 4, 2008, the Suns signed guard Gordan Giricek.

On May 11, 2008, after the Suns lost to the San Antonio Spurs 4-1 in the first round of the 2008 Western Conference Playoffs, Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni signed with the New York Knicks, replacing ousted Head Coach Isiah Thomas, who went 56-108 in two seasons with the Knicks.

On June 9, 2008, Terry Porter was named Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns, succeeding Mike D'Antoni. Porter was an Assistant Coach of the Detroit Pistons when he was let go after the Pistons were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, losing 4 games to 2 and Pistons Head Coach Flip Saunders was fired June 3, 2008.

During the offseason, the Suns had difficulties signing free agents because of being over the luxury tax. They made attempts to sign a back up point guard, Tyronn Lue, however, he decided to sign with the Bucks for more money. The Suns selected Robin Lopez (15th overall pick out of Stanford University) in the 2008 NBA Draft and acquired Goran Dragic, who was originally picked by the rival San Antonio Spurs.

On December 10, the Suns traded Boris Diaw and Raja Bell to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for high-scoring swingman, Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, and a second-round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

On February 18, Alvin Gentry began his head coaching tenure with a 140-100 blowout over the Clippers at home on Tuesday. Six Suns players scored in double digits, led by Leandro Barbosa's 24 points. The Suns led as much as 50 points during the game and were without their explosive swingman Jason Richardson who was serving a one game suspension.

The Phoenix Suns have three primary rivals in the NBA. The San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

For the 2000-01 season, the Phoenix Suns introduced three new logos. Two of these were merely updates to existing logos, modernizing the themes and adding the gray color. The logo pictured here incorporates the mythical phoenix bird into the existing Suns' theme. It illustrates the team's hometown by picturing the bird it was named after rising out a ball with an abbreviation for Phoenix. Of the team's three logos, this is the one that adorns the hardwood at center court. There is a media dispute over the usage of the logo, as many TV networks use the new one (right), but many video games and websites still use a secondary logo that had been the team's main logo of the 1990s.

Since the 2000-2001 season, the Suns have used the same white home and purple road uniforms. On October 20, 2003, an alternate uniform was introduced that was to be used at a minimum, five games a year. This orange uniform is used both at home and on the road and always used in selected consecutive games on the road and in the playoffs. It is the only uniform in the NBA that has an abbreviated version of the city name, PHX, across the front chest. For the 2006–2007 season the Suns removed the uniform number from the side of the shorts, replacing it with the same sun logo that is found on the other side.

For the first eleven seasons of their existence in the NBA, the Suns had no official mascot. An early attempt was made involving a sunflower costume, but it never caught on. In the winter of 1980, a singing telegram named Henry Rojas from Eastern Onion Telegram service was sent to the arena in a gorilla costume. Security saw him and suggested to him to stay for a while to entertain the fans during the breaks. He kept coming to games until officially invited to be the Suns' mascot.

Since then, the gorilla, named Go, has been known for his slapstick humor during the games such as his routine push-ups and stadium stairs all to the sound of the Rocky Theme, and the fantastic dunks that are performed before each 4th quarter. Also, one of his more beloved skits was at a Knicks home game where he came out to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” wearing a hat, with several pieces of garbage stuck to his leg. Halfway through the song, a group of “muggers” attacked him, and he staggered off the court afterwards. The gorilla was honored in 2005 when he was selected to be one of three inaugural members of the Mascots Hall of Fame. According to the Suns' website, the Gorilla graduated from "Hairy Truman" High School in "Mon-key West, Florida", and "Fur-Man University" in 1980.

In 2002, an inflatable gorilla named Hairy was introduced as a new Suns mascot. Standing at 9'1", Hairy entertains the crowd during breaks by dancing with Hairyson who was introduced in 2004 and stands at about half the size.

The first play by play announcer for the Suns was Bob Vache of KTAR radio, who died in an automobile accident midway through the 1969-70 season. Vache was replaced by the Suns' color commentator, Rodney "Hot Rod" Hundley, who would later go on to be the longtime voice of the Utah Jazz.

Legendary broadcaster Al McCoy has covered the team ever since the 1971-72 season. McCoy has broadcast Suns games on radio for the 37th consecutive season on KTAR Phoenix (which has carried Suns games for 38 seasons) as of 2006-07. McCoy's unique, folksy style of calling the games, including his signature catchphrases such as "Shazam!" for a three-point shot, endeared him to thousands of Suns fans across Arizona, the Southwest, and nationwide. McCoy was honored in March 2007 by the Suns, who named their soon-to-be renovated media center at US Airways Center in his honor. McCoy was partnered for many years with legendary coach Cotton Fitzsimmons. In recent years, former NBA players Vinny Del Negro and Tim Kempton served as color commentators on the radio side, with Del Negro working most regular-season home games and all of the playoffs with McCoy (Del Negro later served as an executive in the Suns' front office and is currently the head coach of the Chicago Bulls).

Until 2003-2004, Al McCoy's radio broadcast was simulcast on most television broadcasts. Former NBA on CBS broadcaster Gary Bender has handled the cable Fox Sports Net (FSN-Arizona) telecasts since the early 1990s that were not simulcast. Beginning with the 2003-04 season, Tom Leander assumed the reins on over-the-air TV; the games air on MyNetworkTV affiliate KUTP. Former Suns star Dan Majerle, a member of the team's Ring-of-Honor, became a commentator on television broadcasts in 2004, splitting the color commentator duties with former Suns star Eddie Johnson before joining the Suns coaching staff in 2008.

The FSN Arizona broadcasts have been different from those of NBA teams on other affiliate networks, because the time-and-score graphic does not include an embedded shot clock. Instead, it has only been shown when the clock reaches eight seconds or less, is shown in large print, and is sponsored. Among the sponsors of the clock's appearances have been Henkel and the Arizona Department of Health Services (under the slogan "Inhale Life"). However, for the 2006-07 season, an embedded clock was added to the KUTP telecasts. On January 19, 2007, an embedded clock was part of the graphic during the FSN Arizona telecast of the team's victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, but the sponsored shot clock was still also on-screen when the time was expiring. It is unknown if the embedded clock was only a one-night change or will be a permanent feature of Suns broadcasts.

The 40th Anniversary Suns Team – selected by the vote of the fans through the Internet - was unveiled on January 3, 2008, when the Suns defeated the Seattle SuperSonics, 104-96, to celebrate the team's 40th season. The Suns' inaugural game in 1968 was against the Sonics.

In October 2008, the Phoenix Suns organization, along with partnered advertising agencies, were honored with 12 Emmy awards by the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The team won an award in the Advanced Media category for a video on Suns.com during the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Raja Bell Reunion with Teammates, produced by Steven J. Koek. An Emmy was also awarded in 2008 for PlanetOrange.net, the team's official online fan community. The site was produced by Suns VP of Interactive Services Jeramie McPeek and powered by technology from social media application developer KickApps. McPeek was also awarded for the writing and producing of the virtual locker room site, SunsLockerRoom.com along with Daniel Banks.

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Leandro Barbosa

Leandro Barbosa; Phoenix, Arizona;  6 April, 2008

Leandro Mateus Barbosa (born November 28, 1982 in São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian-born professional basketball player, who plays at the guard position with the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association. His nickname is "The Brazilian Blur.", referring to the fact that he is one of the fastest players in the NBA.

Barbosa started his career at Palmeiras when he was 17. He played on Paulista (São Paulo's) Championship under the command of Lula Ferreira, the future Brazil national team coach.

At 18, he played on the principal team of Palmeiras on Paulista (São Paulo's) Championship. He averaged 14.2 points per game. After that he was traded to Tilibra/Bauru on January 2001.

During his first season as a professional in Brazil, playing for Tilibra/Bauru, he was coached by Jorge Guerra. He averaged 15.8 points, 6.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Barbosa ended the season as the fourth ranked player in three point percentage, sixth in assists and eleventh in field goals.

In the 2002-2003 season he averaged 28.2 points per game, second best in the league, 7 assists and 4 rebounds per game.

At 6'3" with a 6'10" wingspan, he was selected 28th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs but his rights were acquired by the Suns in a trade for a future protected first-round pick. Barbosa holds the Suns record for points scored in a game by a rookie as a first-time starter, with 27 against the Chicago Bulls on January 5, 2004. Barbosa is also an accurate three point shooter with a career average of 41.8%. He set the Suns' record for three-point field goals by a rookie in consecutive games when he hit at least one three-pointer per game during a ten-game streak from January 2 to January 19. Barbosa is well known for his great speed on the court.

Barbosa holds career averages of 12.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and 25.8 minutes per game while shooting 46.9% field goals, 40.5% from three-point range, and 82.1% from the free throw line.

During the 2006-2007 season, Barbosa averaged 18.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 32.7 minutes per game despite playing off bench.

Barbosa was the recipient of the 2006-07 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Barbosa scored a career high of 41 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 20, 2009.

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Source : Wikipedia