Dick Barnett

Richard Barnett (born October 2, 1936) is an American former basketball player who was a shooting guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Syracuse Nationals, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. He won two NBA championships with the Knicks. Barnett was also a member of the Cleveland Pipers in the American Basketball League. He played college basketball at Tennessee A&I College.

Dick Barnett
Dick Barnett.jpeg
Personal information
Born (1936-10-02) October 2, 1936 (age 85)
Gary, Indiana
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolTheodore Roosevelt
(Gary, Indiana)
CollegeTennessee State (1955–1959)
NBA draft1959 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Syracuse Nationals
Playing career1959–1973
PositionShooting guard
Number5, 12
Career history
19591961Syracuse Nationals
1961–1962Cleveland Pipers
19621965Los Angeles Lakers
19651973New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points15,358 (15.8 ppg)
Rebounds2,812 (2.9 rpg)
Assists2,729 (2.8 apg)
Stats at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2007

Early yearsEdit

Barnett attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in a segregated society. Although he struggled as a student at school, he became one of the best basketball players in the state of Indiana.

As a senior, he led his team to the state basketball championship, which was the first final where 2 predominant African American basketball squads faced each other. The team lost to Crispus Attucks High School and their future NBA star Oscar Robertson. He received All-state honors.

College careerEdit

Barnett accepted a basketball scholarship from Tennessee A&I College, to play under legendary coach John McLendon. As a freshman, he was given the nickname "Dick the Skull". He was known for his trademark "question mark" jump shot, with an unusual technique of kicking his legs back as he released the ball with his left hand, taunting the defenders by saying, "Too late; Fall back baby".[1]

He became a three-time Associated Press Little College All-American, helping the school to a 36-game winning streak and three consecutive NAIA national championship titles. In 1957, he was the first African American to be named to the National All-American team. He received back-to-back championship MVP honors in 1958 and 1959.[2]

Barnett graduated as the school's All-time scorer with 3,209 points for a 23.6 average in 136 games, while also recording 1,571 career rebounds for an 11.6 average, a career shooting percentage of 44.8 and 80.0 from the free throw line.

In 1986, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. In 1990, the school retired his No. 12 Jersey. In 1993, he was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, along with his coach John McLendon.[3] In 2012, he was named to the NAIA 75th Anniversary All-Star Team. In 2016, he was inducted into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame.[4]In 2019 the 1957-59 Tennessee A&I Tigers mens basketball team was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Professional careerEdit

Syracuse NationalsEdit

Barnett was selected by the Syracuse Nationals (now the Philadelphia 76ers) in the first round (4th overall) of the 1959 NBA Draft. He was used in a sixth man role behind guards Larry Costello and Hal Greer. As a rookie, he averaged 12.4 points per game. In the 1960-61 season, he scored 16.9 points, which ranked seventh among the league's backcourt players.

Cleveland PipersEdit

In 1961, he signed with the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League (ABL), which were owned by George Steinbrenner (the future owner of the New York Yankees) and coached by John McLendon. He was a part of the 1961–62 ABL Championship team.

On December 21, 1961, the Nationals won a court order barring him from playing that season in the rival American Basketball League.[5]

Los Angeles LakersEdit

On September 7, 1962, the Syracuse Nationals sold his player rights to the Los Angeles Lakers, for $35,000 dollars, which at the time was the highest player-for-money transaction in league history.[6] He was also used in a sixth man role with the Lakers, behind Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. He helped the team win the Western Division title after West missed 27 games with a leg injury.

Famous Laker announcer Chick Hearn nicknamed him "Fall Back Baby". Off the court, he was also known for his sharp wit.[1] He averaged 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists during his 3 seasons with the team.

New York KnicksEdit

On October 14, 1965, he was traded to the New York Knicks in exchange for Bob Boozer and cash considerations.[7] In his first season, he led the team in scoring with a 23.1 average. In 1968, he made his only All-Star appearance.

In 1970, he helped the Knicks beat the Lakers for the NBA tite. In 1973, he contributed to the team winning a second championship against the Lakers. He was released on October 23, 1973.[8] He scored 15,358 regular season points in his career. In 1990, the Knicks retired his No. 12 jersey in the rafters of Madison Square Garden.

NBA career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 †  Won an NBA championship  *  Led the league

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1959–60 Syracuse 57 21.7 .412 .711 2.7 2.8 12.4
1960–61 Syracuse 78 26.5 .452 .712 3.6 2.8 16.9
1962–63 L.A. Lakers 80* 31.8 .471 .815 3.0 2.8 18.0
1963–64 L.A. Lakers 78 33.6 .452 .773 3.2 3.1 18.4
1964–65 L.A. Lakers 74 27.4 .413 .799 2.7 2.1 13.8
1965–66 New York 79 34.5 .469 .772 4.1 3.5 23.1
1966–67 New York 67 29.4 .478 .783 3.4 2.4 17.0
1967–68 New York 81 30.7 .482 .780 2.9 3.0 18.0
1968–69 New York 82 36.0 .463 .774 3.1 3.5 17.6
1969–70 New York 82* 33.8 .475 .714 2.7 3.6 14.9
1970–71 New York 82 34.7 .456 .694 2.9 2.7 15.5
1971–72 New York 79 28.6 .437 .753 1.9 2.5 12.2
1972–73 New York 51 10.1 .389 .533 0.8 1.0 3.8
1973–74 New York 5 11.6 .385 .667 0.8 1.2 0.2 0.0 4.4
Career 971 29.8 .456 .761 2.9 2.8 0.2 0.0 15.8
All-Star 1 0 22.0 .583 .500 0.0 1.0 15.0

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1960 Syracuse 3 21.3 .316 .857 4.7 1.3 10.0
1961 Syracuse 8 28.3 .438 .722 4.5 1.5 15.5
1963 L.A. Lakers 13 28.5 .470 .794 2.9 1.6 16.8
1964 L.A. Lakers 5 30.8 .404 .844 1.6 3.4 13.8
1965 L.A. Lakers 10 28.7 .480 .795 3.0 3.3 17.5
1968 New York 6 35.2 .521 .724 4.5 3.5 23.8
1969 New York 10 40.2 .399 .685 3.5 2.7 16.7
1970 New York 19 37.6 .468 .776 2.1 3.4 16.9
1971 New York 12 37.9 .477 .698 3.2 3.0 19.5
1972 New York 12 10.9 .469 .417 0.7 0.8 4.3
1973 New York 4 4.3 .500 0.0 0.5 1.5
Career 102 29.7 .458 .748 2.7 2.4 15.1


Personal lifeEdit

Barnett, who holds a PhD in education from Fordham University, is now retired from teaching Sports Management at St. John's University in New York as of 2007.[9]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Dick Barnett bio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  2. ^ "Tennessee Sports HOF inductee Dick Barnett at TSHF website". Archived from the original on January 9, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2020. Northwest Indiana native Dick Barnett article at LakeNet website
  3. ^ "Dick Barnett and coach John Mclendon inductee selections for College Basketball HO". April 2, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  4. ^ "Small College Basketball Hall of Fame bio". Small College Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  5. ^ "Pipers Lose Dick Barnett". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 22, 1961. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  6. ^ "Lakers Swing Record Deal to Get Barnett". Los Angeles Times. September 8, 1962. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  7. ^ "Knicks Acquire Dick Barnett In Trade As Boozer Goes To Los Angeles". The Record. October 15, 1965. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  8. ^ "Transactions". Fort Lauderdale News. October 24, 1973. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Northwest Indiana native Dick Barnett article at LakeNet website

External linksEdit