Rick Barry was never Mr. Popular, on his team or in the NBA. One of the best players of his era, Barry demanded excellence from himself and everyone around him and wasn’t very diplomatic about expressing his feelings and thoughts. Barry’s bar is set very high, but he is also very generous with superlatives if you reach it. Very, very generous.
“I remember watching some of my children being born. You watch that and how can words describe what an amazing accomplishment that is – an amazing thing of nature seeing a child being born. Watching Steph play – it’s not quite at that level, but it’s pretty darn close to it.”Rick Barry, Yahoo Sports
The Warriors are struggling, and that’s the only reason Steph Curry isn’t one of the MVP favorites. He’s averaging 30.4/5.5/5.9 on 48.5%/41.6.%/92.4% shooting splits in 34 minutes per game. Given the lack of offensive talent on the Warriors, these are some of the most difficult stats Curry had to earn in his career – he is basically the entire Warriors offense. Teams are throwing the kitchen sink at Steph, and he is still consistently putting up stats. According to Barry, those numbers should be significantly better.
Spoke with Rick Barry the other day. Loves Steph.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) April 13, 2021
Doesn’t love his teammates because they cheat Steph out of “at least four or five assists every night” by missing open looks he gives them.
This is the ultimate Rick Barry statement and tells you everything you need to know about the man. This is why most of his teammates didn’t miss Barry once he left the team. No soft skills whatsoever. That’s where Steph and Barry are different – Curry is one of the most beloved superstars by his teammates ever.
If Barry is right, that would put Steph in the 10-11 assists per game range. But it’s not that simple. The reason those guys are open is that they can’t shoot. Those open shots wouldn’t be there if we were talking about Klay Thompson – his defender doesn’t go and double Steph. His career-best was in ’13/’14 when Curry averaged 8.5 assists per game. No matter what his averages are or who his teammates are, Barry thinks Steph is must-watch TV.
“There are a handful of guys who you can say are worth the price of admission. Steph is one of those.”Rick Barry, Yahoo Sports
Here’s to being able to pay that price of admission and see Steph play in front of packed arenas. He deserves it.