Rick Barry has the honor of being one of the few players to compete in the NCAA, ABA, and NBA. During his time as a small forward on the basketball courts, Barry was a huge personality with a huge following.
This legend had a huge impact on the games and would make a massive change in the games NBA is spreading if you have seen him to play.
Rick Barry’s early years
Barry has always been a sports fan and although he played basketball from a young age, it was football that captured his childhood heart. Barry idolized Willie Mays of the New York Giants and wore his number, 24, in every dish he could. Even as a professional, Barry continued to hold Mays in his heart.
Barry came to the University of Miami because of her coach, Bruce Hale. Hale preferred the Pro-Style system, which fits Barry’s own desires. As a senior, Barry led his collegiate team to an average of 37.4 ppg.
Barry was selected second in the drafts and joined the San Francisco Warriors. He had hoped to join the New York Knicks to play with the legends of his hometown. Here we saw the first signs of Barry’s defiant personality. He never forgave this insult.
The Rookie Year
With Barry aboard the San Francisco Warriors, the change in the team’s capabilities was immediate. They finished their last season with 17 wins but Barry pulled them up to 35. They went all the way to the playoffs. His amazing skills got Barry into the All-Star Game during his rookie year. He played with the greatest players of his time and suited them.
Barry was awarded the NBS Rookie of the Year Award for averaging 25.7 ppg and 10.6 rpg. Just a year later, he was recognized with the NBA All-Star Most Valuable Player Award for his 38.6 scoring average. It wasn’t long before broadcasters gave this instant legend a nickname. Dubbed the “Miami Greyhound,” Barry was known for his whippet-like speed, lean build, and keen eyesight.
In 1967, Barry brought the Warriors to the NBA Finals. Despite losing, the Warriors hadn’t been this close to the championship in years. Barry finished this season with an average of 40.8 ppg. This end result was the highest ever in 3 decades!
A shocking ABA move
Despite Barry’s amazing skills, the San Francisco Warriors underpaid him. Owner Franklin Mieuli’s decisions did not give Barry his fair share of the money. Knowing his worth, Barry decided to leave the Warriors and find a team that would pay him a salary commensurate with his abilities.
To everyone’s surprise, this team was in the ABA. Barry changed leagues. This had never happened before! He joined the Oakland Oaks on a three-year, $500,000 contract — that’s about $4,304,000 in 2022. Barry became one of the highest-paid basketball players of his day, working with his former college coach (and father-in-law ) play ) Bruce Hale and also received 15% ownership of Oakland Oaks!
Due to a reserve clause in his contract, Barry was not allowed to play at the 1967–68 games. The Warriors used this period to slander Barry’s name and portray him as a greedy gambler who didn’t care about the game. But many NBA players turned to the ABA for opportunities to earn better pay and stay on a team for more than a year.
Career results and titles
Throughout his career, Barry has made changes and broken records. He finished his 15-year career with 25,279 points (24.8 ppg), 6,863 rebounds (6.7 rpg) and 4,952 assists (4.9 apg).
His titles are numerous. He is an NBA champion and an ABA champion. He became NBA Finals MVP, Scoring Champion and Rookie of the Year. Most impressively, he was almost always on the All-Star team or the NBA First Team.
Barry has achieved a lot in his basketball career, but his early years really show his spirit and talent.
https://filmdaily.co/sports/nba-legends-rick-barry/ Rick Barry – Movie Daily