Isn’t irony a hoot?
Rick Barry, a basketball Hall of Famer who spent the bulk of his career with the Warriors, took the concept out for a walk Friday during an interview on KNBR. During a discussion about the menu of salivating options open to Kevin Durant at season’s end, Barry expressed wonder that Durant would even consider leaving the Warriors.
For the record, Durant, who can become a free agent after this season, has not made any definitive statements about his future. Well, actually one.
“I just want to make sure I get as much money as I can on my next deal so I can stack up my money and figure it out,” he told Yahoo’s Chris Haynes. “That’s just the plan. Play basketball and stack money.”
Barry can’t even …
“I don’t understand why you’d want to leave a situation where you become multiple champions and have a record very few teams ever approach having,” said Barry, whose 1972 autobiography is titled (drum roll) “Confessions of a Basketball Gypsy: The Rick Barry Story.” (Rim shot.)
You could look it up. Barry jumped four teams from 1968-78, in an era before free agency no less. And while he was never in a situation of winning multiple championships, he — like Durant, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Moses Malone, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Chris Paul, et al — used his considerable talent as leverage to get to the next grand destination. Because that’s what killer athletes do.
Barry was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors in 1965 and was an All-Star as a rookie. He led the NBA in scoring his second season at 35.6 points per game. The Warriors went to the NBA Finals, falling to Wilt Chamberlain’s Philadelphia 76ers. But with Barry, Nate Thurmond, Jeff Mullins and Al Attles, there was every expectation that the Finals were a legitimate goal going forward.
1. Instead, Barry sat out a season so he could jump to the Oakland Oaks of the start-up American Basketball Association, coached by his father-in-law, Bruce Hale.
Basketball fans expressed the incredulity then that Barry would express almost 50 years later while discussing Durant.
“They call me a traitor,” Barry complained to Sports Illustrated way back when. “Is that fair? This is the way I support my family. Why should I be called unloyal?”
Barry sat out the Oaks’ inaugural season (that was how the free agent game was played in 1967), which ended with a 17-game losing streak. He hit the floor in the second season, but didn’t stay there for long. He tore a ligament in his left knee in the team’s 30th game. He could only watch as the Oaks won the ABA title. Worse, the cash-poor franchise was sold and transferred to Washington, D.C. Even worse, after one season in the nation’s capital, the franchise was moved to Virginia.
Legalities prevented Barry from arranging passage back to the Bay Area. But a few choice words in Sports Illustrated disparaging Southern culture got him the hell out of Virginia.
2. Barry landed on his feet with the New York Nets, for whom he averaged 30.6 points in two seasons.
4. Then Barry was on the move again, signing a free agent contract with the Houston Rockets. He spent two seasons there before calling it a career.
- Kevin Durant is doing it all. But is it too much?
- Kevin Durant Says He Will Not Visit White House: "I Don't Respect Who's In Office Right Now"
- This Golden State Warriors season is all about good vibes - and finally achieving Steve Kerr's dream
- Warriors, in Full Dynasty Mode, Sweep Cavaliers in N.B.A. Finals
- How the Warriors became China's favorite team
- Is a small-market, slow-build dynasty even possible in this era of basketball?
- The N.B.A. Finals’ Big Moment Finds Andre Iguodala, an Unselfish Warrior
- Why Warriors' hot start is more evidence Joe Lacob should help Steph Curry and burn down 'bridge to the future' plan
- Steve Kerr Will Coach Warriors, Spurning the Knicks
- N.B.A. West Preview: The Return of ‘Beautiful Basketball’
- How the NBA 2K video game series predicted pro basketball's 'Moneyball'-style revolution
- Complete college basketball rankings begin with teams 357-201 ahead of 2020-21 season
- The Greatest College Basketball Programs Ever: Ranking the top teams of all time
- Don't forget about Andrew Wiggins, a crucial component to Warriors' potential return to title contention
- Warriors security Jonathan Amey Jr. gets a G League tryout
- Adele is picture of happiness as she and new boyfriend Rich Paul sit courtside at star-studded Lakers basketball game
- The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Democrats ask what went wrong on Election Day
- College basketball rankings: Mac McClung cleared to play by NCAA, Texas Tech jumps up in Top 25 And 1
- Kevin Clifton admits ‘my prices have gone up’ after Strictly fame
- Warriors security guard Jonathan Amey Jr. got a G-League tryout
‘Why would Kevin Durant leave?’ asks ex-Warrior and self-described basketball gypsy have 835 words, post on www.eastbaytimes.com at January 7, 2019. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.