Rick Barry Rumors

“Whatever happened to running something to get an easy basket? … I’ve said it before, I’d be getting (James) the ball on the move. The defense, the Warriors, have made it hard on him. He has had to take some really tough shots because they know what’s coming now, so they’ve made some really tough adjustments to it, and they’re making him go left most of the time. I kept saying, ‘Don’t let him go right. Don’t let him go right.’ If he beats me going left, and he beats me with his outside shooting, I can live with that.”
Barry has never been one to pull punches, and he had a few for the Cavaliers too. He’s amazed by James just like the rest of us, but the Cavs’ isolation-heavy offense is enough to turn his 71-year-old stomach. “Somebody has to help him,” Barry said of James, who had 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists and according to the Elias Sports Bureau is on track to become the first player to average at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the Finals (he’s averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists). “I don’t think you win championships if your star player has to do so much one-on-one and work so hard. I don’t think they make easy shots for him.”
Outspoken Hall of Fame guard Rick Barry called a portion of Golden State Warriors fans “fools” and made other digs toward Stephen Curry, LeBron James’ former teammates and the 1976 NBA champion Boston Celtics while he celebrated with his old championship team on Monday night. “All those fools that were booing during the Chris Mullin [jersey retirement] ceremony should be writing letters to [Warriors co-owner] Joe Lacob apologizing for what they did because it worked out pretty good,” said Barry, who unsuccessfully tried to calm the crowd as it booed Lacob during Mullin’s ceremony on March 18, 2012.
The Golden State Warriors announced today that the team will be giving out Rick Barry Bobbleheads to the first 10,000 fans who enter Oracle Arena on Monday, March 23 for the team’s game against the Washington Wizards, courtesy of adidas. In addition to Rick Barry Bobblehead Night, March 23 will serve as a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Warriors winning the 1975 NBA Championship.
Had a 20-minute conversation on the Bald Faced Truth radio show (12-3p on 750-AM) with basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry on Thursday. Listen to the full interview here. I asked Barry to pick his best five NBA players, by position. Basically his “Dream Team,” of current active players. He gave me five, plus a sixth man. PG: Chris Paul — “Best point guard right now. Period.” SG: LeBron James — “I’d put LeBron at the 2… now he can shoot the basketball. I’d love to see him be able to learn how to catch the ball and use his first dribble as a productive dribble to get by his man. Oh my God. If he ever learned that he’d be insane.” SF: Kevin Durant — “He has done what great players do… watch some of the great passes he’s making to his teammates. Kevin’s put that into his arsenal. That’s made him that much better of a player, and he’s doing so much more to help his teammates.” PF: Tim Duncan — “It’s hard not to take Tim Duncan as long as he’s playing because I’d take him on my All-time team C: Dwight Howard — “Even though he has a weakness with free-throw shooting, there aren’t a whole lot of good centers who are developing.”
Rick Barry, a Hall of Famer who believes his penchant for honesty cost him an NBA coaching job, is happy Jason Kidd is getting the opportunity he never did. Mostly, that’s because Kidd isn’t one of those “recycled” coaches who have filled up the vacancies that Barry and other former players desired. In the past, Barry has referenced Minnesota coach Rick Adelman, a marginal NBA player the 70s, as one of the “recycled.” “It’s all about timing. (Kidd) never had experience coaching. I actually had experience,” said the 69-year-old, Barry, who played two seasons with the New York Nets of the ABA. “I actually was a head coach in the minor leagues and I couldn’t even get an assistants job. He’s a very lucky young man to get a head coaching job for a team with that kind of talent on it, in that market. So he’s very fortunate. But I’m happy to see them get new blood in there. I’m so tired of these guys recycling guys. They go from one team to another. The guy loses, he gets fired, he gets hired someplace else by one of his buddies that’s a GM or something.
Hall of Famer Rick Barry’s imprint on the game of basketball continues to resurface. Barry was most notably known for his unorthodox style of shooting free throws by flipping them underhanded (and shooting at a highly-accurate rate mind you). With his four oldest sons well-established in their careers, Barry’s youngest son, Canyon, is a 6-6 guard who spent last season redshirting at College of Charleston. Now, his son’s doing things like his daddy…shooting underhanded.
“The worst thing you can do is go out there and practice inappropriately,” said Barry, who starred at the University of Miami and then in the NBA and ABA from 1965 to 1980. “Then you’re practicing inappropriately and grooming bad habits. … LeBron needs to be much more fluid (with his stroke). He needs to have somebody watching him to analyze him to make sure what he is doing is the absolute right thing because what is is doing right now is not the correct thing. He’s doing a disservice to himself if he’s just grooving what he’s doing now.”
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“If he was interested in getting my opinion, I would show him,” Rick Barry, who shot 90 percent in his NBA career using the underhanded style, said in an interview with FOX Sports Florida. “I’m not going to show him the underhanded free throw. He doesn’t need that because he’s not that far away from being an 80-percent shooter. Dwight Howard (a 57.7 percent career marksman) needs to shoot underhanded. But there are some things I could show LeBron to refine his shooting.”
“Back then they did not want to hear that [expletive],” I said. “I did it to be informative, not to just be critical. Now guys are just being critical and they get rave reviews. Timing is everything in life. I told the truth. Back then people did not want to hear the truth. And if I was doing broadcasting today they probably would hate me because I would tell people the [expletive] that’s going on on the court today. Nobody runs the pick-and-roll play like it Should be done; screens are coming from terrible angles. It’s pathetic. They let guys walk all the time. I watch the game analytically and when they do not talk about that stuff, it just drives me up the wall.”
Barry, 69, lives in Denver and hosts a nationally syndicated radio show. He is brimming with ideas, but is resigned to the fact that I will not have the proper forum to express them. There are those who believe Barry’s perceived arrogance turned off NBA executives to the point where hiring him as a coach was inconceivable. He understands that, but his opinions and approach will not change. He is unhappy with what I factotum believes is the league’s current system of recycling while other former players coaches are left behind. “I said the NBA is the leader in the ecology movement, doing lot been recycling for years,” Barry said last week. “Look at what happened with Rick Adelman, gets fired from Portland, winds up being an assistant with a guy who was a friend of his, then gets a job [with the Warriors] because [general manager] Dave Twardzik is in Golden State, then gets a job in Sacramento because Geoff Petrie, his former teammate, is there. It’s just unbelievable. Finally, I’m happy to see they are starting to give some other guys a chance to do something. “It seems as though the guys who had no idea what the most success are the guys who have been former players. The bottom line of it is, to me, I do not care how much you’ve studied the game, how much you’ve watched the game, if you have not played the game at the pro level, there are things about the game you do not know. And I think the players relate more to guys who have been there. “
After one of the most memorable nights in Warriors history … are your feelings any different now about what went down than they were at the time? Rick Barry: Well, I wish I had said a couple of other things, but I was just appalled. I think it was an embarrassing moment. I would assume it was probably some of our young fans, because I got such positive responses from so many people after I had left the court and saw people during the course of the second half, who were glad that I got up and said what I said. For people to conduct themselves in that fashion was an embarrassment. It was unfair to Joe – I wish I’d had an owner who had that kind of money and was willing to do these things. This is a man who is willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to try to give the fans a chance to have a winner. … But what made it even worse is they were spoiling a night honoring one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise, and they really put a damper on the night for Chris Mullin, which was a wonderful evening up until that point. These young people have no idea what respect is all about and what they were doing.
When the boos restarted for Lacob, Barry took the opportunity to chastise the crowd. “This is crazy. Seriously. Come on, you’re doing yourself a disservice,” Barry said. “All of the wonderful accolades being sent to you [the fans], for you to treat this man [Lacob] who is spending his money to do the best that he can to turn this franchise around — and I know he’s going to do it. So give him the respect he deserves.”
By the time Mullin walked back to center court to hug Lacob and urge the “best fans in the league” to channel their passion towards positivity — and to have faith in Lacob’s new regime — it turned into theater. When Rick Barry grabbed the mike to lecture the fans about “class,” that was the night venturing far into the reaches of infamy. It will never be forgotten — surely not by Lacob, not by Mark Jackson, not by the Warriors staffers who all seemed stunned, not by the handful of players who were on the court at the time.
Howard shot an NBA-record 39 free throws, but he made just 21 for 53.8 percent. That actually, though, raised his meek seasonal percentage to 45.9. “I wish I could have shot 39 free throws in a game,” Barry said of the mark that topped the 34 Wilt Chamberlain attempted Feb. 22, 1962, for the Philadelphia Warriors against St. Louis. “I don’t know how you can live with yourself (missing 18 of them).”
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Rick Barry has an offer for Dwight Howard. He’ll gladly teach him to shoot foul shots underhanded, vowing to up his free-throw percentage to 80. However, it should be noted Barry’s offer isn’t one of charity at the charity stripe. “I would do it,” Barry, a Hall of Famer who shot close to 90 percent from the foul line in his NBA career using the underhanded method, said by phone Friday with FOX Sports Florida from his Colorado Springs home. “But I wouldn’t do it for nothing.”
But the offer stills stands for Barry to help Howard, a career 59.5 percent foul shooter. “He’s a candidate for the underhanded,” said Barry, who played in the NBA from 1965-67 and 1972-80 and who ranks third in history in free-throw percentage. “It’s crazy that somebody who is shooting that poorly wouldn’t want the opportunity to improve. When you’re at the free-throw line, it’s always the same. It’s the same distance; nobody is guarding you. “(Howard) really needs to do it. I was watching him practice once (on tape) shooting free throws, and he just doesn’t have good technique. And somebody just kept feeding him the ball to shoot. And all that did was perpetuate his bad form.”
Rick Barry: “If I was still a player today I would be totally ticked off by the fact that we didn’t make a deal months ago. I really do believe that this could’ve been resolved and should’ve been resolved a long time ago. Why they always have to come down to this I don’t know. I’m not a big fan of Billy Hunter. I think Billy Hunter is one of the worst things that happened to the NBA. Yes he got them an unbelievable deal last time but he also was responsible for the lockout in the late 90’s which cost the players one third of their salaries basically and got nothing for it.
You played against Rick Barry, and I’m wondering if you have any memories or thoughts about the uber-competitive Rick Barry on the basketball court? Jerry West: He was one of the best players we’ve ever had in this league and … he has not yet gotten his just due as a player. I think sometimes Rick seems to get people in the wrong frame of mind sometimes, and it’s just one of those things – he’s very outspoken, of course. But he truly was a great player.
What about the buddying up of elite players in the NBA? How is that going to change the league moving forward? Rick Barry: “A few guys are finally getting smart and realizing you know it’s not about, they’re making so much money as it is. It’s about trying to win a ring and trying to be the best there is in the world and being the champion. If you have an opportunity I know some of the guys…LeBron [James] was criticized by Michael Jordan, criticized by Magic Johnson. Yeah well that’s easy for them [Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson] to criticize because they won all these championships and had these guys there that they had to play with. I mean if Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t there and James Worthy and all those other players and Magic [Johnson] had played seven years with the Los Angeles Lakers and had won a championship and didn’t see a potential to win one and go team up with another title, do you think he would have stayed in Los Angeles? I don’t think so. Not if he had an opportunity to go and win a title. Magic [Johnson] was about winning and I certainly respect that about him, but it’s really easy to talk about that and criticize somebody when you’ve never been in there shoes.”