Monday , Nov , 24 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Leandro Barbosa Returns after Death of Mother

Barbosa took part in his first Suns practice Sunday since his mother died Nov. 13. The work was familiar to his mind but not to his body. He dropped weight during his nine days in Brazil, where his mom, Ivete, lost a six-week battle to pneumonia.

Barbosa took extra shots Sunday. Coach Terry Porter drew up plays. But Barbosa’s perpetually happy face is solemn, having just lost the closest person in his life three years after his father died.

Barbosa, who will play Tuesday at Oklahoma City, talked but could not say "Mama," whom he called several times a day when she was not in Phoenix.

"I don’t like to be by myself, because every time I’m by myself, it makes me think about my family," Barbosa said. "As much as I can be doing something, the better, especially now."