Rick Barry - Returns To The Warriors
Returns to the Warriors
Finding the New York area and the Nets organization to his liking, Barry re-signed with the Nets following the 1971-72 season, but this move prompted yet another series of lawsuits. The Warriors sued for Barry based on the contract he had signed in 1969, which stipulated Barry's return to the Warriors after he had fulfilled his commitment with his present ABA team. Barry claimed that the contract should be void because the NBA had broken antitrust laws by pooling money among teams to pay his contract. Although several years later he was proven right regarding the league's misuse of pooled money, in 1972 a federal judge ruled that Barry owed the Warriors three years.
Faced with sitting out for three years or joining his old team, now renamed the Golden State Warriors, Barry decided to return to the Bay Area. During his first two years back with the Warriors, Barry averaged 22.3 and 25.1 points per game, respectively. In 1974-75 he carried the team to the NBA championship, averaging 30.6 points per game on the season. With a NBA title in hand, Barry re-signed with the Warriors for another three years in 1975. Then in 1979 he exercised his rights as a free agent and accepted a bid from the Houston Rockets. After playing two years off the bench, Barry, one of the games most prolific scorers, retired.
In 1979 Barry walked out on his wife and five children. He remarried but then divorced, and later married Lynn Norenberg. After retiring in 1980, Barry moved about the country, hoping to eventually land a coaching job in the NBA. Barry became the coach of the United States Basketball League's team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Other coaching stops included teams in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Asbury Park, New Jersey, and Fort Myers, Florida. His reputation as an intolerant arrogant bully on the court continues to shadow his life two decades later. A very public plea to fill the coaching vacancy at Golden State in 1997 ended without even an interview. In 2001 KNBR, a local radio station in San Francisco, hired Barry as a sports talk show host. Barry, who fills the noon-to-three slot, does interviews and sports analysis.
Much has been made of Barry's four sons, Scooter, Jon, Brent, and Drew (he and his first wife also have an adopted daughter). All four have had different levels of success as college and professional basketball players. It is the father, though, that has his name written in the history books as one of the most spectacular players of his day.