Rick Barry Defends LeBron & Lays Waste To Rob Parker’s Basketball Cred

Rick Barry Defends LeBron & Lays Waste To Rob Parker’s Basketball Cred
  • Tanya Ray Fox

Rick Barry isn’t always right, but when he is, he lays waste to Rob Parker’s already-minimal basketball cred on national radio.

Parker is best known for his time as a Detroit-based columnist and a commentator on ESPN for various shows including First Take before being fired for making racist comments about NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III. In fact, he has such a nasty habit of landing himself in hot water through inappropriate remarks that his scant Wikipedia page is dominated by a list of his controversies.

Now he works as a talking head for Fox Sports 1 and hosts a weekend radio show for Fox Sports Radio – which is what he was doing when he got into a heated exchange with Hall of Fame NBA player Rick Barry. The argument stemmed from their differing opinions regarding LeBron James’ decision to pass the ball to Kyle Korver in the final minute of Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

Barry: There’s no guarantee [LeBron] was gonna make it. There’s no guarantee he’s going to get fouled, and he had one of the best 3-point shooters in the damn game open and he threw it to him, so please get off his case.

Parker: C’mon, Rick. Rick, you gotta stop.

Barry: No, you gotta stop because you don’t know the game. You guys don’t know the game and should be ashamed of yourself.

Parker: No, no, no. I’ve been covering basketball forever.

Barry: I don’t care how long you’ve been covering it; you didn’t play the game. And if you make that comment, you don’t know the game.

Parker: Rick, you don’t know radio and you don’t know journalism.

Barry: I know radio. I’ve done radio for years.

Parker: No you don’t. No you don’t. You’re a basketball player. You guys kill me. It’s always the same thing. You didn’t play basketball, so you don’t know basketball.

Barry: That’s exactly right.

Parker: It’s ridiculous, Rick. Respect journalism and respect people…

Barry: You’re a loser.

Parker: No, you are. You’re a loser, Rick. Hang up on him.

Parker’s childish attempt to lord some type of journalistic credibility over Barry in regards to an opinion about a basketball game is embarrassing at best and completely unprofessional at worst. That’s not to mention the fact that he just straight up rejects the idea that Barry has been doing radio for years, which is absolutely true.

Barry’s not disrespecting journalism. Having an opinion on whether LeBron James should’ve passed the ball is not journalism – and as a man in his 50’s with immense experience in the industry, Parker knows that. It’s this kind of inappropriate, finger-pointing lunacy that has had him bounced from multiple jobs.

At the end of the day, I believe that the legendary NBA player is right is about LeBron’s decision to pass the ball to one of the game’s best three-point shooters. We know enough about the player he is to know that he isn’t afraid to take the shot when he knows he has the best chance of anyone on the floor to get the points. He made a decision in the moment, and it’s the decision that any player in his position should make.

Remember this, Rob?

Tanya Ray Fox

Tanya Ray Fox is a sportswriter and producer who has worked for nearly 7 years in both digital and television sports media. She has previously worked in TV production experience for Comcast SportsNet New England, NFL Network and Time Warner Cable Sports. In addition to her work for SportsGrid and appearances on the affiliated FNTSY Sports Network, she is also a contributor for USA Today's Rams Wire.