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Sports

Rick Barry is probably the most underrated SF ever

Why is Rick Barry seemingly so forgotten by modern NBA fans and analysts?

Whenever a list of the top SFs all time get mentioned, inevitably there’s Lebron and Bird, Dr J, KD and Pippen get mentioned, and sometimes Elgin Baylor, James Worthy, Dominique Wilkins and even Paul Pierce get thrown in.
..but what about Rick Barry?
 
For people who don’t know how much of a statistical beast Rick was, his playoff stats were monstrous:
 
1967 playoffs – 34.7 PPG / 7.5 RPG / 3.9 APG
1970 playoffs – 40.1 PPG / 10.0 RPG / 3.3 APG
1971 playoffs – 33.7 PPG / 11.7 RPG / 4.0 APG
1972 playoffs – 30.8 PPG / 6.5 RPG / 3.8 APG
1975 playoffs – 28.2 PPG / 5.5 RPG / 6.1 APG
1976 playoffs – 24.0 PPG / 6.5 RPG / 6.5 APG
1977 playoffs – 28.4 PPG / 5.9 RPG / 4.7 APG
 
He’s one of only 4 players to ever win a ring without another all star on his team (the others are Ben Wallace, Hakeem Olajuwon and Dirk Nowitzki)
 
He’s the only player to ever lead the NCAA, ABA AND NBA in scoring
 
He was the first SF that you could call a ‘point forward’ due to his passing ability
 
He had the highest FT% in history at the time he retired
 
“He was Larry Bird before Larry Bird” is what many fans who watched him play said about him
 
He has the highest scoring Finals Average of all time at 36 PPG, even beating out Michael Jordan’s 33 PPG
 
He has over 25k career points if you include his ABA stats
(which the NBA should and is baffling that they don’t because you know, they merged so ABA history should be part of NBA history)
 
He had “mamba mentality” way before Jordan/Kobe made it popular; He would never shy away from shooting a shot, he was psychologically competitive and he was tough on his teammates. The problem was, back in the 1970s this type of mentality was widely disliked and hence he was probably robbed of a few MVPs (which were voted on by players back then). Now, ironically we praise players with this kind of mentality.
 
Head to Head matchups versus other SF greats of the time:
 
Rick Barry vs Elgin Baylor
Barry – 28.2 / 9.8 / 3.1 / 44% FG%
Baylor – 19.4 / 9.5 / 2.4 / 42% FG%
 
Rick Barry vs Connie Hawkins
Barry – 23.4 / 6.9 / 5.7 / 45% FG%
Hawkins – 15.0 / 7.1 / 4.7 / 50% FG%
 
Rick Barry vs Billy Cunningham
Barry – 29.5 / 7.4 / 3.2 / 44% FG%
Cunningham – 16.5 / 9.6 / 3.5 / 44% FG%
 
Rick Barry vs Gus Johnson
Barry – 32.1 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
Gus – 19.4 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs Roger Brown
Barry – 28.5 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups Brown – 21.4 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs Julius Erving
Barry – 24.7 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
Dr J – 26.6 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs John Havlicek
Barry – 28.1 / 8.4 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups Hondo – 22 / 5.7 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs Chet Walker
Barry – 27.2 / 8.1 / 3.7 / 45% FG%
Chet – 20.1 / 6.5 / 2.8 / 49% FG%
 
So as you can see, Barry basically destroyed every other SF of his era – the only exception being Dr J (who was younger than Barry)
 
How could a player so dominant at his position be routinely left out in conversations? SLAM magazine left him out of their all time SF mount rushmore candidates – but inexplicably put Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce there. ESPN left him out of their all time Warriors starting lineup, instead putting in Draymond Green over him. TNT’s 2011 All-Star Fantasy Draft where 6 analysts drafted 10 players each – Barry was not picked.
 
It’s inexplicable to me that Rick Barry is mostly forgotten and even if he is remembered, mostly remembered for his granny style free throw shot and him being a racist commentator. When I went to watch the Warriors games, I was the only one wearing a Rick Barry jersey. Sometimes I even saw Mullin jerseys – but never Barry jerseys (or Thurmond jerseys for that matter). And that’s kind of sad because not only should his dominance as a player be remembered, but he’s one of the few players back then who would thrive in today’s game with his ultra competitiveness, his point forward skills, his complete game (post, interior, perimeter) and his long range shooting.
Thoughts? I think he’s one of my top 2 most underrated players of all time along with Artis Gilmore.
 
Categories
Sports

ABA players are underrated, top 10 underrated basketball players

Another basketball post! yay! In this post I want to talk about just how underrated ABA players.

Edit: I made a video about the top 10 underrated players here:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z9tVTAuHHA

For those of you who don’t know, the American Basketball Association or ABA, was founded as an alternative league to the NBA and at that time alot of players who felt that the NBA wasn’t paying them enough or too traditional took to the ABA which had a lot of modern rules like the 3 point range, a colored ball, etc

However, the ABA eventually merged with the NBA in 1976, but the NBA refuses to merge ABA player’s career records with the NBA, which is a disservice to former ABA players who later went to the NBA. As a result, several former great ABA players are underrated by the public both because ABA games were not readily televised back in the day, and because their career totals are not fully accounted for in the NBA.

Some of these great players include:

1. Mel Daniels

Mel Daniels
Mel Daniels

Has anyone ever heard of Mel Daniels? Well before I looked him up I haven’t. Probably the most underrated ABA player ever. He was a 6’9 Center that played for the Indiana Pacers, his awards include:
7 time ABA All Star
3 time ABA champion
2 time ABA MVP
1 time ABA all star game MVP
4 time All ABA first team
ABA Rookie of the Year
and his career averages: 18.4ppg/14.9rpg/1.8apg

Now tell me how someone like that could be forgotten? A 3 time champion and 2 time MVP and averaged 15 rebounds a game?? My awards based ranking places him as the 30th best player of all time (!!), right between Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Arizin.

2. Artis Gilmore

Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore

Along with Julius Erving, probably the greatest ABA player of all time. And yet he wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame until 2011. How is this possible? His awards:
11 time ABA/NBA All Star
3 time ABA champion
1 time ABA Finals MVP
1 time ABA MVP
1 time ABA all star game MVP
5 time All ABA first team
ABA Rookie of the Year
and averaged.. 18.8ppg/12.3rpg/2.4bpg

My awards based ranking places him as the 36th best player of all time (!!), right between Isiah Thomas and Dwight Howard. This guy should be a top 10 center of all time, but its always left out of conversations.

3. George McGinnis

George McGinnis
George McGinnis

He was one of the most important players in the ABA along with Julius Erving, yet he isn’t even in the Hall of Fame yet! How is that possible? His awards:

6 time ABA/NBA All Star
2 time ABA champion
1 time ABA MVP
3 time All ABA first team
and averaged.. 20.2ppg/11.0rpg/3.7apg

How can a former MVP and 2 time champion who averaged 20/11 be forgotten?? My awards based ranking places him as the 39th best player of all time, right between John Stockton and Willis Reed.

4. Rick Barry

Rick Barry
Rick Barry

Rick Barry does get acknowledge as one of the great small forwards, but I think not enough as he deserves. Look at his awards and stats:

12 time ABA/NBA All Star
2 time ABA/NBA champion
1 time NBA Finals MVP
9 time All ABA/NBA First Team
NBA All Star game MVP
NBA Rookie of the Year
1 time NBA scoring champion
and averaged.. 24.8ppg/6.7rpg/4.9apg

Rick Barry doesn’t get the credit he deserves. His stats and awards using my ranking makes him the 19th best player of all time, right between Karl Malone and Elgin Baylor. He has better stats than Kobe Bryant. He averaged 27 points a game in the playoffs. He lead the ABA AND NBA in scoring. He lead the Golden State Warriors to their only championship in 1975 almost by himself. He is one of the greatest players of all time, period, yet gets left off the all time nba fantasy draft. He is hardly ever mentioned by modern players. Most players place Scottie Pippen over him. Why??

5. Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins
Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins was basically another Julius Erving, except not remembered as much. Why not? He started kind of late in the NBA, due to the NBA banning him for a scandal that he wasn’t a part of, but his awards include:

5 time ABA/NBA All Star
1 time ABA Finals MVP
1 time ABA MVP
3 time All ABA/NBA First Team
and averaged.. 18.7ppg/8.8rpg/4.1apg

My awards based ranking places him as the 41th best player of all time, right between Willis Reed and Chris Paul. Again, no one talks about him or mentions him but the dude averaged 25/12 in the playoffs.

Other forgotten former ABA players include
6. Spencer Haywood, a former ABA MVP, averaged 20/10 yet isn’t in the hall of fame.
7. Roger Brown, an all but forgotten ABA star that averaged 17/6/4 for his career.
8. Billy Cunningham isn’t mentioned that much either, even though he is a former ABA MVP, 21/10 player, and one of the top 50 greatest of all time.
9. David Thompson, a former ABA player who averaged 22/3/4, scored 73 points in a game before, and one of the greatest dunkers of all time, is often forgotten.
10. Dan Issel, a 22/9 ABA player who helped Gilmore win his championship but isn’t mentioned amongst the great power forwards.