Leandro Barbosa's Selfless Act
When you move at the speed of light, it’s easy to miss the details.
That is, unless you’re Leandro Barbosa.
Before taking on the Denver Nuggets at home on January 19 (a game they would go on to win in large part due to his efforts off the bench), newly signed Leandro Barbosa emerges from the Suns’ locker room with a smile.
It was the night he made his return to the US Airways Center floor as a member of the 2013-14 Phoenix Suns.
I’m exiting the Al McCoy Media Center en route to my seat on press row.
As I see Barbosa begin to jog through the hallway and onto the court, I grab my phone to take a photo for the Suns’ social networks.
“That’d be a good behind-the-scenes photo,” I thought.
At least, that was the goal until I realized my phone was completely dead and my charger was at my seat.
“Well, that sucks,” I eloquently whispered to myself.
Nevertheless, it forced me to pause for a moment and wait for Barbosa to pass through the tunnel. Apparently, it was meant to be; I was able to witness a special moment between Leandro and a young fan that made it all worth it.
Before he went through the tunnel onto the court, Barbosa spotted a young boy with his former No. 10 jersey on. He couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 years old and was completely decked out in matching Suns attire (both new and old logos).
Barbosa did a double-take and stopped dead in his tracks.
“Hey, little man!” Barbosa said as he knelt down to speak to the young boy. “Nice jersey!”
With eyes wide, the boy smiled but couldn’t muster up any words. Barbosa made eye contact with the parents who were also overjoyed.
“He’s your biggest fan,” the boy’s father said. “But he’s a little shy.”
“No problem,” Barbosa replied turning back to the boy. “Are you excited to watch the game?”
The boy nodded, seemingly unsure if this was a dream or actually happening.
“That’s awesome,” Barbosa said. “I’m happy you are here. Can I take a picture with you?”
The boy nodded a final time. Barbosa took a couple pictures with the family, signed the boy’s jersey and made his way onto the court.
This tiny encounter may seem trivial or inconsequential at first glance, but the look on the boy’s face after it happened was of pure euphoria and happiness.
Instead, Barbosa instinctively understood how much spending a few moments would mean to the boy wearing his jersey.
If I’m honest, I don’t know what caused Barbosa to stop and speak with the young boy. I do know, however, that moments like these haven’t been a rare occurrence for the Suns’ guard. Barbosa is genuinely appreciative of his fans and routinely makes a point to thank them as much as humanly possible through social media.
Feels really good to play at HOME. I gotta thank, all the vibe of the Suns Nation, y'all are amazing much love!! http://t.co/MEK0yYSWc2— Leandro Barbosa (@TheBlur_Barbosa) January 20, 2014
Interactions like these can change a child’s life. That is to say, instill a greater sense of confidence through a positive interaction with one’s idol.
Just another day in the life of the Brazilian Blur.