Rick Barry 1976-77 Topps #50 Basketball Card - $100 (Ocean Township)

condition: excellent
make / manufacturer: Topps
model name / number: 50

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Golden State Warriors
Hall of Fame
Card Number 50
Autographed No
Year 1976
Richard Francis Dennis Barry III (born March 28, 1944) is an American retired professional basketball player who starred at the NCAA, American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) levels. Barry ranks among the most prolific scorers and all-around players in basketball history. He is the only one to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), ABA, and NBA in points per game in a season. He ranks as the all-time ABA scoring leader in regular season (30.5 points per game) and postseason (33.5) play, while his 36.3 points per game are the most in the NBA Finals history. Barry was also the only player to score at least 50 points in a Game 7 of the playoffs in either league until Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum both reached that mark in 2022. He is one of only four players to be a part of a championship team in both leagues.

Barry is widely known for his unorthodox underhand free throw technique. His career .880 free throw percentage ranks No. 1 in ABA history, and his .900 percentage was the best of any NBA player at the time of his retirement in 1980.[1] In 1987, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.[2] In 1996, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. In October 2021, Barry was honored as one of the league's greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

Barry was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey and grew up in nearby Roselle Park, an urban middle-class community. As a fifth-grader, he played with the varsity basketball team, for which his father Aldo served as coach, but baseball was his best sport. He was a fan of local New York Giants superstar Willie Mays, who wore jersey number 24. Barry would wear the same number in tribute to the outfielder throughout his basketball career. In 1962, he graduated from Roselle Park High School in Roselle Park, New Jersey.[4]

Barry chose University of Miami, largely because the Hurricanes adhered to an up-tempo, pro-style system under head coach Bruce Hale that was conducive to his skills set and athleticism. It was there that the three-time All-American met his future wife Pamela, who was the daughter of the head coach. In the 1964–65 campaign, the senior led the NCAA with a 37.4 points per game average. He and his teammates did not take part in the NCAA Tournament, however, because the Hurricanes' program was on probation at the time.

Barry was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors with the second pick of the 1965 NBA draft.

Barry was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, and his number 24 jersey is one of only two have been retired by the Hurricanes.

In Barry's first season in the NBA with the San Francisco Warriors, the team made a quantum leap from 17 to 35 victories and was in playoff contention until the final game of the regular season. In the All-Star Game one season later, Barry erupted for 38 points as the West team stunned the East team, which featured Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and head coach Red Auerbach among other all-time greats. Later that season, Barry and company extended the mighty Philadelphia 76ers to six highly competitive games in the NBA Finals, something that Russell and the Boston Celtics could not do in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Nicknamed the "Miami Greyhound" by longtime San Francisco Bay Area broadcaster Bill King because of his long and slender physical build, whippet-like quickness, and remarkable instincts, the 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Barry won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 25.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in the 1965–66 season. The following year, he won the 1967 NBA All-Star Game MVP award with a 38-point outburst and led the NBA in scoring with a 35.6 point per game average, which currently ranks as the eighth-highest output in league history.

Along with All-Star center Nate Thurmond, Barry carried the Warriors to the 1967 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. Despite an injured left knee that required cortisone shots on game days, Barry averaged 40.8 points per game in the series, an NBA Finals record that stood for three decades. "The guy was so good that we had to have three different guys guard him at different times," Wilt Chamberlain said. "'Cause he would run them all ragged."

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