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.
|Born||October 2, 1936|
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school||Theodore Roosevelt|
|College||Tennessee State (1955–1959)|
|NBA draft||1959 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall|
|Selected by the Syracuse Nationals|
|1962–1965||Los Angeles Lakers|
|1965–1973||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||15,358 (15.8 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,812 (2.9 rpg)|
|Assists||2,729 (2.8 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2007
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.
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".
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.
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. 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.In 2019 the 1957-59 Tennessee A&I Tigers mens basketball team was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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
|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|
- "Dick Barnett bio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
- "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
- "Dick Barnett and coach John Mclendon inductee selections for College Basketball HO". April 2, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
- "Small College Basketball Hall of Fame bio". Small College Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
- "Pipers Lose Dick Barnett". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 22, 1961. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
- "Lakers Swing Record Deal to Get Barnett". Los Angeles Times. September 8, 1962. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
- "Knicks Acquire Dick Barnett In Trade As Boozer Goes To Los Angeles". The Record. October 15, 1965. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
- "Transactions". Fort Lauderdale News. October 24, 1973. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
- "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