Thursday, November 8, 2007
Irish Warriors Hall Of Fame: Rick Barry
The 3rd inductee into the Irish Warriors Hall Of Fame after Sleepy Floyd and Chris Mullin is the one and only Rick Barry. Rick Barry was a type of rocky Balboa a person who rised to the top quite freqeuntly despite a host of limited turnaround. His classic rookie season is an obvious example where the san Francisco Warriors rose from 17 to 35 and put the San Francisco Warriors on the NBA map. The All star game was another classic example of his dominance he put up 38 points against an extremely dominant East outfit which contained Wilt, Bill Russell and Oscar Roberson. An unheralded Small Forward who at this time was not in the same league as these days putting up 38 points. Think about that.
Barry spent time in the ABA with the New York Nets, which was a competitor to the NBA. Surprisngly the ABA was much more of a open better game then the NBA with a longer shotclock and even a better Basketball red white and blue ball but the lack of a TV contract killed the League and Barry had to go elsewhere. He decided to go back to San Francisco and the NBA which looked a bad time to join as Nate Thurmond the Rebounding leader and the only player who could shut down Kareem. However in 1975 not only did the Warriors cause the greatest Finals upset Barry averaged MVP numbers accross the board 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), It ranks as a bigger injustice then when Kobe Bryant was robbed off the 2006 MVP award. If anything Barry was more motivated and Golden State won an extremely tense 7 game series in Chicago to capture their first Championship against the Bullets.
Barry also had the most unothodox style of Free show shooting. He shot underhand a style no player today would use in fact he famously offered to coach Shaq how to shoot properly from the line but he declined. Shaq is a great player and no one can argue about his success but to decline help from the greatest Free Throw Shooter ever is silly. Like many other players Barry tunred to broadcasting but his career was cut short by CBS during the 1981 Finals he made a slightly racial comment towards bill Russell quoting "Who’s the guy in the back row with the big watermelon smile?". When we worked for TBS calling the 1987 Slam Dunk contest after M.J did his stuff he referred to it as "Who's the chinese Superman". Whilst Barry has argued his knowledge of the game overlwhelms his slip of the tongue knowing the senitiveness of some TV Networks after janet Jackson's Superbowl incident it's unlikely Barry will ever be rehired. A shame but for the 1975 title alone and his legacy he is the 3rd inductee into the Irish Warriors Hall Of fame