Rick Barry

Richard Francis Dennis Barry III (born March 28, 1944), better known as Rick Barry, is a retired American professional basketball player. He is considered by many veteran basketball observers to be one of the greatest pure small forwards of all time as a result of his very precise outside shot, uncanny court vision, knowledge and execution of team defense principles, tenacious and ofttimes demanding will to win, and unorthodox but accurate underhanded free throw shooting. Barry is one of the few elite players who altered their games without losing effectiveness; he broke into the professional ranks as a rebounder and all-purpose scorer before he became a primary ball distributor and lethal perimeter threat.

Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by the NBA in 1996, Barry is the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), ABA and NBA in scoring for an individual season. In 1987, Barry was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Barry also ranks on the short list of greatest underdog players in basketball history, as his teams repeatedly overachieved despite marginal talent around him. Longtime NBA writer Paul Ladewski has referred to him as Ricky Balboa, a reference to Rocky Balboa, the prize fighter of motion picture fame who was at his best in the face of long odds. Prior to entering the NBA, he played college basketball at the University of Miami.

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    Let’s face it, we became ingrown, clannish, and retarded. Cut off from the mainstream of humanity, we came to believe that pink is “flesh-color”, that mayonnaise is a nutrient, and that Barry Manilow is a musician.
    Barbara Ehrenreich (b. 1941)

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    David Webb Peoples, U.S. screenwriter, and Ridley Scott. Rick Deckard, Blade Runner, reading the newspaper—his opening lines (1982)