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.

..Can you tell I still miss Korea alot?

Yeah… SF is soooo boring and lonely compared to Korea I can’t even…


Startup Weekend San Francisco 2012

Wow what a weekend it has been. I attended Startup Weekend SF, the second SW I’ve been to, and it was a blast.

Edit: Apparently this is the app that won at Startup Weekend Google. Similar idea, different name? Interesting.

Team SplitMyTab
Team SplitMyTab

My team consisted of me (the frontend engineer), a designer, a business person and two backend engineers. Our App idea was called SplitMyTab, which helps people with all the trouble of calculating and figuring our their restaurant bills when tips, tax, credit cards, and cash all give people headaches when they split the bill. As you can see, we actually won honorable mentions in the competition for good storytelling and customer validation (as well as a free year of SendGrid service), hence the medal :).

App details
While the idea was simple, the app was actually difficult to implement. When the app is loaded, it asks you to take a picture of the bill using the camera. This part required iOS and native functionality. After this, our image OCR algorithm done in Python processes the image and extracts the data out and sends it to our Ruby on rails service, which stores it. The Ruby service uses templating along with Bootstrap and jQuery Mobile to display the web/mobile site.

Since I was the front end engineer, I was in charge of doing the web/mobile stuff. So I used HTML5 Boilerplate (I could’ve also used Bootstrap) and jQuery Mobile, along with jQuery UI and Backbone.js to support the JS animations and structure, respectively.

So initially we thought about using the phone’s contacts / numbers as a way to tell users what they owe, using PhoneGap or iOS to access native features, and Twilio for SMS, but turns out no one really knew PhoneGap or Objective C, and not enough time to figure out in one weekend.

So, we decided to go with Facebook API to message/email people.

Initial screen
Initial screen

We force users to login to Facebook on the initial page, with the photo that they’ve taken shown, and assuming that the image data from the receipt is available. Then we land on the calculate totals page, which calculates the total of the bill including tips that you enter. There’s also an autocomplete which pulls from your facebook friends list, who we assume you are eating with.

Calculate totals page
Calculate totals page

After that, we go to the final page, which is the page where we calculate who ate what and what the final totals were.

Receipt Totals Page
Receipt Totals Page

And after you confirm, it sends a message to all your facebook friends who ate with you telling them how much they owe you.

First, technology decisions. I chose jQuery Mobile over Sencha because it relies all on HTML5 page-roles and semantics, which is really nice and easy to learn, whereas Sencha has a learning curve. I used Backbone.js over AngularJS because Angular would’ve required more time to learn the syntax.

Interesting issues:
1) We couldn’t figure out a good mechanism in time for the Python program to communicate with our Rails server.
2) I figured out too late that jQuery mobile has quirks with dynamically inserted html, and should’ve used Ruby templating instead. I don’t know any Ruby so I had to work with just HTML5 without any templating engine like PHP/Rails.
3) jQuery mobile apparently doesn’t execute all the JS after an Ajax form submission. Actually, all of its page changes uses Ajax.
4) jQuery mobile fires its mobile initializing way before the document is ready, this causes problems with dynamically generated DOM elements.
5) Facebook API apparently deprecated its legacy REST API, and its Graph API doesn’t have a good way to message or email friends.
6) jQuery mobile apparently doesn’t play nicely with jQuery UI.
7) jQuery mobile also doesn’t like it when you put custom JS page init events in the main data-role=page div.
8) Always JSON stringify / parse objects when storing and retrieving from localStorage
9) DOM elements from a jQuery array are not jQuery objects themselves and have to be re-wrapped in a jQuery selector. This differs from Prototype.js which always wraps each sub-element in its selector.
10) Facebook API has terrible documentation. Seriously.

So yeah, I learned alot of interesting quirks about jQuery Mobile and Facebook API over the weekend. Next time, maybe I’ll try a different mobile framework, and use Zepto.js instead, a lighter weight jQuery alternative. And try using AngularJS, because Backbone requires a lot of boilerplate code to be written, though I like its use of MVC and SoC patterns. And yes, I’ll consider looking into SASS, Node.js, and CoffeeScript (there’s too much stuff to learn blah). Overall I learned a lot, which is all I really wanted to get out of these events anyway. Take a break from CFM (coldfusion) and FTL (freemarker) for a while.

Where’s the app code?
Relax, the Github repo is here, and the prototype mobile site I’ve built is here (it’s not fully functional because of the jQuery mobile quirks).