Sunday, July 17, 2005

The All Time Best Barry

Warriors great Rick Barry made Charley Rosen's list of the All-time best small forwards.


A self-proclaimed basketball gypsy, Rick Barry spent four primetime years playing (plus one season sitting out his NBA option) in the ABA. Wherever he went, scoring was his bag — he led the NBA with 35.6 ppg in 1966-67. Quick and relentless on the break, accurate from any distance on the move or with his feet set, Barry was virtually unstoppable whatever a game's pace.

He was also a record-breaking — and underhand-shooting — performer at the free throw line. Six times leading the NBA in that department and finishing his NBA career with a lifetime mark of 90 percent.

Barry was also an NBA pioneer — the first-ever point-forward. He disdained showboating and his basic bounce- and two-hand chest-passes were usually right on the mark. As the fulcrum of the Warriors offense, Barry led Golden State to an NBA title in 1975.

His defense was also fundamentalist. Blocked shots were not in his repertoire, nor was he a board-hound, but his hungry hands were always quick to gobble up any careless dribble or pass. Credit his incredible anticipation for leading the league in steals (2.85) in 1975-75.

Okay, he could be unbearably arrogant, and he always believed he knew more about basketball than did any of his coaches. But Barry was a gamer.

Props to Rick Barry for making the list and for hosting a great show on KNBR.


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