Style Versus SubstanceRick Barry is a perfectionist and can come across as a know-it-all--but no one can argue that he certainly knows a lot about basketball and that he had a stellar career: he is a Hall of Famer, a member of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players List, the only man to lead the NCAA, NBA and ABA in single season scoring and his performance in leading the 1975 Golden State Warriors to the NBA title was nothing short of remarkable. A Sport Magazine cover around that time declared "Rick Barry is Superman." Barry used his trademark underhanded shooting style to connect at a .900 rate from the free throw line during his NBA career and has repeatedly offered to teach his method to Shaquille O'Neal, who sports a Superman tatoo but shoots free throws like the rim has been coated with Kryptonite. Here is O'Neal's response, delivered to Steven A. Smith and quoted in Tim Povtak's October 1 article: "Rick Barry's resume is not good enough to even come into my office to be qualified for a job. I will shoot negative-30 percent before I shoot underhanded." Nothing like having respect for one of the game's greatest players and valuing substance--making free throws that can help your team win games--over style, right?
posted by David Friedman @ 3:08 PM