The Barry Family

February 28, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
Those who say that basketball is in Rick Barry’s blood aren’t exaggerating much. His father was a basketball coach in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Rick went on to star at all levels, eventually landing in the Basketball Hall of Fame. And if there’s a basketball gene, he certainly passed it down to his sons; Scooter, Jon, Brent and Drew. All four of them played professional ball, and Brent is now in his 12th year in the NBA. Among them the Barrys boast a total of three NBA championships; an NCAA championship; three first-round draft selections; 12 All-Star appearances; and a Rookie of the Year award. They have played professional basketball in six countries.

Rick Barry

  • Only player in history to lead NCAA, ABA and NBA in scoring; scored more than 25,000 points in his pro career
  • ABA Rookie of the Year in 1966
  • Led Oakland Oaks to 1969 ABA championship. Led San Francisco Warriors to 1975 NBA championship; named MVP of NBA Finals
  • Averaged 35.6 points per game during 1966–67 season
  • Four-time ABA All-Star, eight-time NBA All-Star
  • Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987
  • Named one of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996
Today Barry might be best known as the father of four professional basketball players.

The Barry Brothers

  • Scooter won 1988 NCAA title with University of Kansas
  • Drew holds all-time assists record at Georgia Tech
  • Brent won 2005 and 2007 NBA championship with San Antonio Spurs
  • Jon, Brent and Drew are the second set of three brothers to play in the NBA at the same time (1998–2000)
If the Barrys ever do discuss their day jobs, they’ll have plenty to talk about. All four brothers had notable college careers and have played professionally at the same position as their father: guard. But their careers have taken wildly divergent turns. After starring at Kansas, eldest brother Scooter, 41, never made it to the NBA but played in the Continental Basketball Association and in the top professional leagues in France, Germany, Spain, and Australia. Jon, 38, played for six different NBA teams over 13 seasons and is now enjoying a second career as a broadcaster doing color commentary for ESPN. Brent, 36, is still on the job, a free agent being courted by several contending teams, and youngest brother, Drew, 35, recently ended a career that included stints in the NBA, the CBA, and pro leagues in Australia and Poland.

A Family Trait

In the end, none of the Barry brothers has rivaled his father’s career, but each has had his moments. Scooter’s biggest one came in 1998, when he led the University of Kansas to its fourth NCAA title. Drew was a second-round draft pick in 1996, but his biggest highlights, like Scooter’s, came in college: he starred at Georgia Tech and set the school’s career assists record, a mark that still stands. Jon was a first-rounder in 1992. He helped the Lakers to a first-place finish in 1998, and did the same for the Pistons in 2002 and 2003. His biggest game might have been in the first round in the 2002 NBA play-offs, when he briefly took over the final game, paving the road to a Pistons victory by scoring 12 points in a span of less than three minutes.

Star of the Generation

Brent is known for his jumper, especially from long range (he led the NBA in three-point shooting percentage for the 2000–01 season with a .476 mark). He is also known to play enthusiastic defense, a reputation his father never had. Barry was released last week by Seattle and, as currently a free agent, is being courted by several top teams, including Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Boston, and San Antonio.

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