Rick Barry finally returned to pro coaching — although it’s a little short of what he’s always wanted.
Somehow, “head coach in Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 League” is not how he imagined himself described after his Hall of Fame playing career ended. He wants to coach in the NBA, but at 73, realizes that window had likely closed.
He coached for awhile in basketball’s minor leagues, but that ended in 1995. Now that he’s got this platform, he used the opportunity to careen wildly off the rails on the subject of Donald Trump.
“It’s a disgrace to the world, to our country, what they’re doing,” Barry, 73, told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “The scrutiny that he’s going under is absurd. It’s ridiculous. Politics has always been horrible and it’s even worse now than it was. What’s going on now is reprehensible.’’
Barry was one of the first NBA stars to make the transition to broadcasting, landing a job with CBS, where he teamed with Bill Russell to broadcast games in the 1980s. CBS declined to renew his contract, saying that his broadcasting style was too negative.
In that way, he was way before his time. But Barry has always been negative about everything he’s done. One of the reasons no NBA GM would hire him is that he has the reputation as a colossal jerk.
In the USA Today interview, Barry at first said he only wanted to talk sports, but then bubbled over into the recent events in Charlottesville.
“What’s going on in our country today, some of this stuff is reprehensible and embarrassing,’’ said Barry, whose pro basketball career spanned from 1965 to 1980. “I’m appalled by what happens in politics. … And it’s not just this administration. It’s all administrations.’’
Which makes him the perfect candidate. Let’s go Rick — these days political office is the perfect job for a jerk.