Rick Barry

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Rick Barry
Rick Barry autograph 2011.jpg
Rick Barry signs an autograph in 2011.
No. 24, 2, 4
Small forward
Personal information
Born(1944-03-28) March 28, 1944 (age 69)
Elizabeth, New Jersey
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 7 in (201 cm)
Listed weight205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High schoolRoselle Park
(Roselle Park, New Jersey)
CollegeMiami (Florida) (1962–1965)
NBA draft1965 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the San Francisco Warriors
Pro playing career1965–1980
Career history
19651967San Francisco Warriors
1968–1969Oakland Oaks (ABA)
1969–1970Washington Caps (ABA)
19701972New York Nets (ABA)
19721978Golden State Warriors
19781980Houston Rockets
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA and ABA statistics
Points25,729 (24.8 ppg)
Rebounds6,863 (6.7 rpg)
Assists4,952 (4.9 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame
 
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Rick Barry
Rick Barry autograph 2011.jpg
Rick Barry signs an autograph in 2011.
No. 24, 2, 4
Small forward
Personal information
Born(1944-03-28) March 28, 1944 (age 69)
Elizabeth, New Jersey
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 7 in (201 cm)
Listed weight205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High schoolRoselle Park
(Roselle Park, New Jersey)
CollegeMiami (Florida) (1962–1965)
NBA draft1965 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the San Francisco Warriors
Pro playing career1965–1980
Career history
19651967San Francisco Warriors
1968–1969Oakland Oaks (ABA)
1969–1970Washington Caps (ABA)
19701972New York Nets (ABA)
19721978Golden State Warriors
19781980Houston Rockets
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA and ABA statistics
Points25,729 (24.8 ppg)
Rebounds6,863 (6.7 rpg)
Assists4,952 (4.9 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame

Richard Francis Dennis "Rick" Barry III (born March 28, 1944) is a retired American professional basketball player. He is considered to be one of the greatest pure small forwards of all time[1][2][3] as a result of his very precise outside shot, uncanny court vision, knowledge and execution of team defense principles, tenacious and ofttimes demanding will to win, and unorthodox but accurate underhanded free throw shooting.[4][5] Barry is one of the few elite players who altered their games without losing effectiveness; he broke into the professional ranks as a rebounder and all-purpose scorer before he became a primary ball distributor and lethal perimeter threat.

Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by the NBA in 1996, Barry is the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), ABA and NBA in scoring for an individual season. In 1987, Barry was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.[6]

Barry also ranks on the short list of greatest underdog players in basketball history, as his teams repeatedly overachieved despite marginal talent around him. Longtime NBA writer Paul Ladewski has referred to him as Ricky Balboa, a reference to Rocky Balboa, the prize fighter of motion picture fame who was at his best in the face of long odds. Before entering the NBA, he played college basketball at the University of Miami.

Biography[edit]

Early years and college career[edit]

Barry grew up in Roselle Park, New Jersey and was an All-American basketball player for the University of Miami, where he starred for three seasons. While at Miami, Barry met his wife Pamela, the daughter of Hurricanes head coach Bruce Hale. As a senior in the 1964-65 campaign, Barry led the NCAA with a 37.4 points-per-game average. Barry and the Hurricanes did not take part in the NCAA Tournament, however, because the basketball program was on probation at the time. Barry is one of just two basketball players to have his number retired by the school.[7]

Barry was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors with the second pick of the 1965 NBA Draft.

Professional playing career[edit]

San Francisco Warriors[edit]

In Barry's first season in the NBA with the Warriors, the team improved from 17 to 35 victories. In the All-Star Game one season later, Barry erupted for 38 points as the West team stunned the East squad, which featured Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and head coach Red Auerbach among other all-time greats. Later that season, Barry and company extended the mighty Philadelphia 76ers to six highly competitive games in the NBA Finals, something that Russell and the Boston Celtics could not do in the Eastern Conference playoffs. That 76ers team is considered to be one of the greatest in basketball history.

Nicknamed the "Miami Greyhound" by longtime San Francisco-area broadcaster Bill King because of his slender physical build and remarkable quickness and instincts, the 6'7" Barry won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 25.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in the 1965-66 season. The following year, he won the 1967 NBA All-Star Game MVP award with a 38-point outburst and led the NBA in scoring with a 35.6 point per game average — which still ranks as the eighth- highest output in league annals. Teamed with star center Nate Thurmond in San Francisco, Barry helped take the Warriors to the 1967 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. Including a 55-point outburst in Game 3, Barry averaged 40.8 points per game in the series, an NBA Finals record that stood for three decades.

Upset that he was not paid incentive monies that he believed due from Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli, Barry jumped to the ABA's Oakland Oaks, who offered him a lucrative contract and the chance to play for Bruce Hale, then his father-in-law. The three-year contract offer from Pat Boone, the singer and team owner, was estimated to be worth $500,000, with Barry saying "the offer Oakland made me was one I simply couldn't turn down" and that it would make him one of basketball's highest-paid players.[8] The courts ordered Barry to sit out the 1967-68 campaign before he starred in the ABA, upholding the validity of the reserve clause in his contract.[9] He preceded St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Curt Flood, whose better-known challenge to the reserve clause went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, by two years as the first American major-league professional athlete to bring a court action against it.[10] The ensuing negative publicity cast Barry in a negative light, portraying him as selfish and money-hungry. However, many NBA players at the time were looking at jumping to the ABA for more lucrative contracts. Barry would star in the ABA, twice averaging more than 30 points per game.

Oakland Oaks[edit]

After the 1966-67 season, Barry became one of the first NBA players to jump to the American Basketball Association when he signed with the Oakland Oaks. In the ABA's first season, the Oaks were the only ABA team located in the same market as an NBA team (the Warriors). The Warriors went to court and prevented Barry from playing for the Oaks during the 1967-68 season. Barry instead worked on Oaks radio broadcasts during the ABA's first season.

During the 1968-69 season Barry suited up for the Oaks and averaged 34 points per game. He also led the ABA in free throw percentage for the season (a feat he repeated in the 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons). However, on December 27, 1968, late in a game against the New York Nets, Barry and Kenny Wilburn collided and Barry tore ligaments in his knee. He tried to play again in January but only aggravated the injury and sat out the rest of the season, only appearing in 35 games as a result. Despite the injury Barry was named to the ABA All-Star team. The Oaks finished with a record of 60-18, winning the Western Division by 14 games over the second place New Orleans Buccaneers. In the 1969 ABA Playoffs the Oaks defeated the Denver Rockets in a seven game series and then defeated New Orleans in the Western Division finals. In the finals the Oaks defeated the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 1 to win the 1969 ABA Championship.

The Oaks' on-court success had not translated into solid attendance. The team averaged 2,800 fans per game. Instead of remaining in Oakland for another season to see if the championship would draw fans, the team was sold by owner Pat Boone and relocated to Washington, DC for the 1969-1970 season.

Washington Caps[edit]

Barry played the 1969-1970 season with the ABA's Washington Caps. Barry did not like the move and refused to report to the team, at one point commenting, "If I wanted to go to Washington, I'd run for President!" He missed the first 32 games before the ABA forced him to join the team. The Caps played in the Western Division, making for a grueling travel schedule. The Caps finished 44-40, claiming third place in the Western Division. Appearing in only 52 games due to injury, Barry finished the season with 1,442 points, second best in the ABA (27.7 points per game). The Denver Rockets defeated the Caps, 4 games to 3, in the Western Division semifinals. As the seventh and deciding game drew to a close, Barry was ejected for fighting with Rockets players.

Virginia Squires[edit]

The Washington Caps became the Virginia Squires after the 1969-1970 season, but Barry was openly despondent about playing in southern Virginia. At the same time, he wanted to continue playing in the ABA. Featured on the August 24, 1970 cover of Sports Illustrated in a Squires jersey,[11] he indicated that he would not return to the NBA if the league paid him "a million dollars a year." He denounced the Squires (and, subsequently, never suited up for them), saying he did not want his kids growing up with a southern accent. On September 1, 1970, the Squires traded Barry to the New York Nets for a draft pick and $200,000. The negative comments were not the primary reason; rather, Squires owner Earl Foreman was still bogged down by financial troubles and sold Barry to help meet his expenses.

New York Nets[edit]

After the Squires dealt Barry to the New York Nets, he played in only 59 games in the 1970-71 season due to a knee injury but still made the ABA All Star team. He repeated as an ABA All Star during the 1971-72 season. During the 1970-71 season he led the league in scoring (29.4 points per game) and led the league again in 1971-72 with 31.5 points per game. In both of those years he also led the ABA in free throw percentage as he had in 1968-69. Barry also became the ABA record holder for most consecutive free throws in one game with 23.

In the 1970-71 season the Nets finished 40-44, good for fourth place in the Eastern Division and a place in the 1971 ABA Playoffs. The Virginia Squires defeated the Nets 4 games to 2 in the Eastern Division semifinals. The 1971-72 Nets finished the season at 44-40, making the 1972 ABA Playoffs by claiming third place in the Eastern Division, 24 games behind the 68-16 Kentucky Colonels. In the Eastern Division semifinals the Nets shocked the ABA by defeating the Colonels 4 games to 2. The Nets then eked out a 4 game to 3 victory over the Virginia Squires in the Eastern Division finals. The Nets were then edged by the Western Division champion Indiana Pacers, 4 games to 2, in the 1972 ABA Finals.

On June 23, 1972 a United States District Court judges issued a preliminary injunction to prohibit Barry from playing for any team other than the Golden State Warriors after his contract with the Nets ended. On October 6, 1972 the Nets released Barry and he returned to the Warriors.

Golden State Warriors[edit]

1972 publicity photo of Barry

Upon Barry's return to the Warriors and the NBA, the cumulative effects of knee problems were taking their toll. Barry gradually moved his game away from the basket, becoming more of a perimeter shooter and ball distributor. The Warriors ran one of the few offenses in basketball where a forward (Barry) was the primary ball-handler. Two seasons later (1974–75) the Warriors captured the division crown and Barry averaged 30.6 points per game, led the league in free throw percentage (.904) and steals per game (2.9) and ranked sixth in assists per game (6.2). The Warriors executed a four-game sweep of Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld and the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals. The Bullets had posted a league-high 60 victories, 12 more than the Warriors total in the regular season. Barry was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

The next season, the Warriors drafted Gus Williams to play point guard and began to utilize the talents of Phil Smith more at shooting guard. Barry's scoring average dipped to 21.8 ppg, but the Warriors finished with the NBA's best record at 59-23 and were heavy favorites to return to the NBA Finals. However, the Warriors were upset in the Western Conference finals by the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors won 49 games the next season (1976–77) with Barry, Smith, and Williams sharing scoring and ball-handling, but were ousted in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers. Reportedly, Barry and Williams clashed over ball-handling,[12] and Williams was traded after the season to the Seattle SuperSonics. Barry played one more season with the Warriors before leaving as a free agent for the Houston Rockets.

Houston Rockets[edit]

Barry closed his career with the Houston Rockets, playing through the 1979-80 NBA season. Barry was signed by the Rockets as a free agent before the 1978-79 season. The league awarded John Lucas to the Warriors as compensation. Now in the twilight of his career, he pioneered the "point forward" position as a ball distributor (passing for a career-high 502 assists) and three-point threat. Until the arrival of Larry Bird, Barry, John Havlicek, and Billy Cunningham were the only players in NBA history to pass for more than 500 assists while primarily playing the forward position. He averaged 13.5 points and set a new NBA record (since broken) with a .947 free throw percentage for the season. He retired in 1980.

Later years[edit]

During the 1990s he coached the Cedar Rapids Sharpshooters of the Global Basketball Association[13] and the Continental Basketball Association, guiding the Fort Wayne Fury to a 19-37 win-loss record in 1993-94. In 1998 and 1999, he served as head coach of the New Jersey ShoreCats of the United States Basketball League. Former Warriors teammate Clifford Ray was his top assistant.

Barry finished 2nd in his division at the 2005 World Long Drive Championship.[14]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Barry was among the first professional basketball players to make a successful transition to the broadcasting profession. He began broadcasting during the 1967-68 season broadcasting Oakland Oaks games because of contractual matters that kept him off of the court. Barry continues to work in the field, a career that began with his own radio show in San Francisco and CBS while still an active player and then with TBS.

During Game 5 of the 1981 NBA Finals, while working as a CBS analyst, Barry made a controversial comment when CBS displayed an old photo of colleague Bill Russell, who is African-American, and Barry joked that "it looks like some fool over there with that big watermelon grin".[15][16] Barry later apologized for the comment, claiming that he did not realize that a reference to watermelons would have racial overtones. Russell said that he believed Barry with regard to Barry's racial attitudes, but nonetheless, the two men are reported not to have been particularly friendly for other reasons, unrelated to that comment.[17]

CBS did not renew Barry's employment for the subsequent season, with producers later citing the overall negative tone of Barry's game commentary.[17] The next season, Barry did some broadcasting for the Seattle SuperSonics, however a plan for permanent employment fell through when Barry insisted that his then-wife be allowed to join him when the team was on the road, which would have been contrary to team policy.[17] The next year, Barry was featured in a lengthy Sports Illustrated article written by Tony Kornheiser in which he lamented the failure of his broadcasting career to that point, as well as the fact that he'd left a reputation within NBA circles for being an unlikable person.[17]

In September 2001, Barry began hosting a sports talk show on KNBR-AM in San Francisco until June 2003, when KNBR paired him up with Rod Brooks to co-host a show named Rick and Rod. The show aired on KNBR until August 2006, when Barry left the station abruptly for reasons not disclosed to the public.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Rick Barry has four sons with his first wife Pam: Scooter, Jon, Brent and Drew, all of whom were professional basketball players. He has one daughter, Shannon. He also has a son named Canyon with his third wife, Lynn Barry. Canyon is committed to joining the Doug Wojcik-coached College of Charleston Cougars men's basketball team for the 2013–14 season as of November 9, 2011.[19]

When his son Brent won the NBA Championship in 2005 with the San Antonio Spurs, Rick and Brent became the second father-son duo to both win NBA Championships as players, following the Guokases (Matt Guokas, Sr. and Matt Guokas, Jr.). Later, this would be repeated by the Waltons (Bill and Luke).

Jon and Brent have likewise moved to broadcasting after retirement. Jon currently serves as a game analyst on ESPN while Brent works as a studio analyst on NBA TV.

Barry was also a member of Kappa Sigma.

Professional statistics[edit]

NBA career highs[edit]

Regular season[edit]

StatHighOpponentDate
Points64vs. Portland Trail BlazersMarch 26, 1974
Points, half (2nd)45vs. Portland Trail BlazersMarch 26, 1974
Field goal percentage
Field goals made30vs. Portland Trail BlazersMarch 26, 1974
Field goals made, half (2nd)21vs. Portland Trail BlazersMarch 26, 1974
Field goals made, quarter11vs. Portland Trail BlazersMarch 26, 1974
Field goals attempted50
Field goals attempted49vs. Philadelphia 76ersJanuary 23, 1975
Free throws made, none missed18—18vs. Portland Trail BlazersDecember 26, 1974
Free throws made, none missed18—18vs. Washington BulletsFebruary 6, 1975
Free throws made, one missed21—22at New York KnicksDecember 14, 1965
Free throws made21at New York KnicksDecember 14, 1965
Free throws made21vs. Baltimore BulletsNovember 6, 1966
Free throws made, half (2nd)17at New York KnicksDecember 6, 1966
Free throws made, quarter (3rd)14at New York KnicksDecember 6, 1966
Free throws attempted25vs. Baltimore BulletsNovember 6, 1966
Free throws attempted, quarter (3rd)15at New York KnicksDecember 6, 1966
Three-point field goals8—12vs. Utah JazzFebruary 9, 1980
Three-point field goals7—10vs. New Jersey NetsFebruary 6, 1980
Rebounds25vs. Philadelphia 76ersDecember 20, 1965
Offensive rebounds
Defensive rebounds
Assists19at Chicago BullsNovember 30, 1976
Assists16vs. Buffalo BravesNovember 10, 1973
Steals9vs. Buffalo BravesOctober 29, 1974
Steals8vs. Los Angeles LakersMarch 25, 1975
Steals8at Cleveland CavaliersApril 1, 1979
Steals7vs. Philadelphia 76ersJanuary 23, 1975
Blocked shots
Minutes played

Playoffs[edit]

StatHighOpponentDate
Points55vs. Philadelphia 76ersApril 18, 1967
Points47vs. St. Louis HawksApril 1, 1967
Field goal percentage
Field goals made22vs. Philadelphia 76ersApril 18, 1967
Field goals attempted48vs. Philadelphia 76ersApril 18, 1967
Free throws made, none missed
Free throws made, one missed
Free throws made15
Free throws attempted19at St. Louis HawksApril 5, 1967
Three-point field goals made2vs. Boston CelticsApril 14, 1980
Three-point field goals attempted
Rebounds12
Offensive rebounds
Defensive rebounds
Assists14
Steals8vs. Seattle SuperSonicsApril 14, 1975
Steals7at Chicago BullsMay 11, 1975
Steals7vs. Detroit PistonsApril 28, 1976
Blocked shots
Minutes played

List of highest career scoring outputs[edit]

Occurred in NBA Finals
PointsOpponentHome/AwayDateMinutes
played
FGMFGAFTMFTAReboundsAssists
64Portland Trail BlazersHomeMarch 26, 197443304545109
57New York KnicksAwayDecember 14, 1965182122
57Cincinnati RoyalsAwayOctober 29, 19662115
55Philadelphia 76ersHomeApril 18, 196722481119125
55Philadelphia 76ersHomeJanuary 23, 197523499105
55New York KnicksHomeMarch 25, 1978193117189
52Chicago BullsNeutralFebruary 16, 1967181619
51Houston RocketsNeutralJanuary 17, 1973243334
51Philadelphia 76ersHomeFebruary 23, 197422407
51Philadelphia 76ersHomeOctober 29, 1977223878
50St. Louis HawksNeutralDecember 8, 1966191214
50Detroit PistonsAwayJanuary 14, 1967201011
50Boston CelticsNeutralFebruary 14, 1967161819
50Cincinnati RoyalsAwayDecember 25, 1966191213
50Los Angeles LakersHomeDecember 8, 19733721378899

Career achievements[edit]

NBA records[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Only player in history to lead the NCAA, ABA and NBA in scoring

Youngest player to score 57 points in a game: 21 years, 261 days (57 points, San Francisco Warriors at New York Knicks, December 14, 1965)

Playoffs[edit]

Scoring 30 or more points in all games, any playoff series: 6 games, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 1967 NBA Finals

Field goal attempts, 6-game series: 235, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 1967 NBA Finals

Field goal attempts, game: 48, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, April 18, 1967

Field goal attempts, quarter: 17, at Philadelphia 76ers, April 14, 1967

Steals, quarter: 4, second quarter, at Chicago Bulls, May 11, 1975

NBA Finals[edit]

Scoring 30 or more points in all games, any championship series: 6 games, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 1967 NBA Finals

Field goals made, game: 22, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, April 18, 1967

Field goal attempts, 6-game series: 235, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 1967 NBA Finals

Field goal attempts, game: 48, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, April 18, 1967

Field goal attempts, quarter: 17, at Philadelphia 76ers, April 14, 1967

Steals, 4-game series: 14, vs. Washington Bullets, 1975 NBA Finals (3.5 spg)

All-Star[edit]

Field goal attempts, game: 27 (1967)

Steals, game: 8 (1975)

Personal fouls, game: 6, twice (1966, 1978)

Disqualifications, career: 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Top 10 small forwards in NBA history, Fox Sports
  2. ^ The greatest NBA small forwards of all time, Yahoo Sports
  3. ^ Chat with Rick Barry, ESPN
  4. ^ "Rick Barry Bio". NBA. Archived from the original on April 27, 2006. 
  5. ^ Red on Roundball - Free Throws with Rick Barry
  6. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  7. ^ Miami Hurricanes 2011-12 media guide. Retrieved on January 5, 2012.
  8. ^ via United Press International. "Barry Accepts $500,000 Contract; He Quits N.B.A. for 3-Year Pact With Oakland Five", The New York Times, June 21, 1967. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  9. ^ via United Press International. "WARRIORS UPHELD ON OPTION CLAUSE; Court Rules Barry is Bound to Club One More Year", The New York Times, August 9, 1967. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Hollander, Dave (November 24, 2013). "Big Jerk, Bigger Hero". Slate. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sports Illustrated covers online
  12. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1125163/5/index.htm
  13. ^ "Barry to Coach" (AP). The New York Times. October 30, 1992. 
  14. ^ "RE/MAX World Championship's 2005". Morgan Studios. 
  15. ^ Cook, Bob (June 2004). "Kick Out the Sports!". Flak Magazine. 
  16. ^ Thornton, Jerry (September 21, 2005). "Sportscasters Gone Wild". Barstool Sports. 
  17. ^ a b c d Kornheiser, Tony. (1983, April 25). "A Voice Crying In The Wilderness", Sports Illustrated
  18. ^ "Barry leaves afternoon radio show at KNBR". San Francisco Chronicle. 2006-08-14. 
  19. ^ Canyon Barry to play at College of Charleston | barry, ramsey, college - RAMSEY - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

External links[edit]