Not only was Wednesday’s Suns-Raptors game in Vancouver a homecoming for Steve Nash, but it was also one of sorts for Leandro Barbosa.

The “Brazilian Blur,” who was traded to the Raptors in a deal that brought Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix, said that he was extremely “nervous” about playing against his Suns friends. The entire ordeal was a surreal one for LB.

“It’s very weird man, I don’t know how it’s going to be, but the only thing I know is that I’m very nervous and excited,” Barbosa told before the game. “I miss everybody, my teammates, the city the fans.”

Barbosa spent seven years in the Valley, averaging 11 points and 2.1 assists on 39 percent shooting from downtown in his tenure. The 6-3 guard captured the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2006-07.

“I didn’t get to talk to the fans after I left Phoenix,” he said. “I will always have them in my heart.”

LB, who was very popular with his former teammates, received hugs and handshakes from all of them before the game. Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry even good-naturedly chastised him about not returning his texts.

“I’ll miss the relationships in the locker room the most,” LB said. “We used to have good chemistry and energy in the locker room. The guys would say funny things and funny things used to happen a lot.”

Barbosa said that he still manages to keep in touch with Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley and strength and conditioning coach Mike Elliot. Dudley even went down to Brazil over the summer to visit him.

The former Sun, who now wears No. 20 for the Raptors, has been bothered by an ankle injury throughout the preseason. He said he’ll be healthy by the time the regular season rolls around.

Barbosa will make his official return to the Valley on March 23.

  • maatt

    ur the man leandro!!!

  • motaman

    you will be missed, i loved watching you come up as a rookie to where you are now. Now is your time to shine, show the world what you have, you are awesome, and will be missed number twenty ?(

  • sharon Jackson

    LB, I sure miss you! With you and Amar’e gone its like not the same. Now I have to watch you, the suns and Amar’e. Oh well I am a true fan of yours. I requested your friendship on facebook but have not heard back from you. Dont worry i know that your really busy. Keep playing good and may God bless you everytime you go out unto the court.

  • A fan from Taiwan

    We’ll all miss u LB!!!

  • Darri

    Trading Barbosa = biggest mistake ever!!!!!!!

  • LB Fan

    LB you’ll be missed! It is true the Suns are not the same without you! Sarver, you have bit by bit disassembled what used to be a great Suns team; you should be ashamed of yourself. You should have never let go of Amare either.

  • tron

    LB is such a great guy! We had to trade him because his 3 point shooting is very poor, and he missed tons of layups.
    He’ll improve on those things for sure, but it was a good trade. As fans, I think we all miss his sweet nature and awesome personality….!

  • Rajesh

    We’ll all miss u LB!!!