03 Jun Rick Barry
Speaker: Rick Barry
NBA Hall of Famer
If you were choosing a pickup basketball team, Rick Barry would be one of your first choices. There have been few players in basketball history that played with more passion and competitive zeal than Rick Barry. Conversely, if Barry played for the opposing team, one dreaded the assignment of having to cover him. On the court, Barry had only one speed – TURBO. He was an aggressive force who would use any means necessary to score and win. In many cases, scoring and winning meant slashing drives to the hoop with a reckless abandon that either landed him two points or a trip to the free throw line. His modern style of basketball was sharply contrasted at the free throw line where his unique underhanded technique was a throwback to basketball’s early days. Barry excelled at the charity stripe; his underhanded tosses connected 89.3 percent of the time, second best in NBA/ABA history.
After an All-State scholastic career at Roselle Park (NJ) High School, the six-foot-seven Barry single-handedly resurrected the University of Miami program and made the Hurricanes a national force. At Miami, Barry averaged 29.8 ppg in 77 games and concluded his consensus All-America senior season by leading the nation in scoring (37.4 ppg).
In 1965, the San Francisco Warriors drafted Barry in the first round. Barry wasted little time. He claimed NBA Rookie of the Year honors (25.7 ppg, 10.6 rpg), and the next year not only led the league in scoring (35.6 ppg), but was named MVP of the All-Star Game. During his 14-year professional career, four in the ABA (Oakland, Washington and the New York Nets) and ten in the NBA (San Francisco, Golden State and Houston), Barry was a 12-time All-Star. His dead-eye outside jump shot was one of basketball’s deadliest weapons and enabled him to become the only player in history to lead the NCAA, ABA and NBA in scoring. In 1975, Barry was named the NBA championship series MVP after leading the underdog and undermanned Warriors to a four-game sweep of the Washington Bullets. In a combined ABA/NBA career, Barry tallied 25,279 points and was named to nine All-NBA/ABA First Teams.
Barry has four sons, Scooter, Drew, Jon, Brent, who are also professional basketball players. Scooter, who played for the University of Kansas Jayhawks’ 1988 NCAA title team, has played in the Continental Basketball Association. Drew was Georgia Tech’s all-time assists leader and played briefly in the CBA and in the NBA. Jon, guard for the NBA’s Houston Rockets, was a first round draft pick in 1992 out of Georgia Tech. After winning the 2005 NBA Championship with the San Antonio Spurs, Brent and Rick have become only the second father-son duo to both win NBA Championships as players.
Controversial and outspoken, Barry continues to work in the field of broadcasting, a career he began after retiring from pro basketball (first with CBS and then with TBS). Rick also hosts the Rick Barry Basketball Fantasy Camp in Sonoma County, California. The camp offers attendees a one-of-a-kind NBA experience, both on and off the court, alongside former NBA greats.
An accomplished author, Barry has written a number of books about basketball including Rick Barry’s Pro Basketball Bible (1995) and Rick Barry’s Super Sports Trivia Game (2005).