Leandro Barbosa’s NBA career has been all about energy. The man affectionately nicknamed “The Brazilian Blur” made a name for himself streaking past opponents off the dribble and knifing to the basket as part of the Seven Seconds or Less Phoenix Suns, and even at age 33, the Golden State Warriors reserve still brings a hard-charging style with him whenever he steps onto the court … and if you don’t believe me, just ask referee Ken Mauer, who found himself on the business end of that charging in the first quarter of Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals on Thursday night:
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
With the Warriors pushing the ball up the court following several missed Cavalier layups, Barbosa raced to the right corner to set himself up for a transition 3-pointer. As he slid into position, he moved quicker than Mauer, who couldn’t get clear before Barbosa banged into him, sending him careening to the hardwood. Utterly nonplussed, Barbosa took the feed from Andre Iguodala, raised up and canned the triple, giving him seven points in less than four minutes of floor time to help the Warriors extend their lead over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.
Never ones to let the opportunity to celebrate on their home court go, the Warriors bench took the opportunity to involve the fallen official in the festivities. Check out Golden State reserve Ian Clark, helpfully pointing Mauer out, then really leaning into the point for emphasis after the triple falls through:
Podcast: The Warriors are unstoppable…or are they?:
Come now, Ian. The NBA community’s all about lending a helping hand when one of our brethren falls down. You can learn something from your man Marreese Speights, who popped right off the bench to help Mauer get back up and into the fray.
Thankfully, Mauer was none the worse for wear, Barbosa didn’t wind up spraining an ankle as he stepped back for the jumper, and Game 1 continued apace. Though we do wonder if the league office will take a closer look at that one between Games 1 and 2 … might have been a bit of a flop by ol’ Ken there.
More NBA coverage:
– – – – – – –