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Takeaways from Virtual Happy Hour with Rick Barry, Presented by Michelob Ultra

Former Warriors guard and current team broadcaster Kelenna Azubuike recently hosted a Season Ticket Member Virtual Happy Hour, presented by Michelob Ultra, featuring a video chat with NBA Champion and Hall of Fame Warrior Rick Barry. The interview, held on Facebook, included a special opportunity for Dub Nation’s Season Ticket Members to ask Barry their burning questions.

In a nearly hour-long online conversation, the duo covered topics from the team’s first West Coast Championship in 1975 to how the game and business of basketball has changed since then. Take a look at some of the quotes and responses to Dub Nation’s questions below.

AZUBUIKE: “Prior to the 2014-15 season, the last time the Warriors won a NBA Championship was 1975. Can you speak to being on that team?”
BARRY: “I joked around at one of our functions for Al (Attles, Head Coach in 1975) and said ‘the two greatest coaching moves Al Attles ever made in his life were: number one bringing in Bud Presley from Menlo Atherton College to talk to us about defense — he was crazy, I still remember him jumping in front of Clifford Ray, taking a charge, knocking him back and he rolled over two or three times — and getting us really committed to playing defense… and then his second best move was in (Game 7 of) the Western Conference Finals in the third quarter when I was stinking up the gym.’ I was something like 2-for-14 from the field, he took me out of the game! He took his leading scorer out of the game in the third quarter when we were trailing… Al didn’t even put me back in until not even the start of the fourth quarter, but I even sat the beginning part of it for quite a while. And I say that was a great coaching move on his part…

I feel my teammates have gotten short-changed. I got recognition because I was MVP of the series, but to not have done some kind of special on our team and with all the specials they are doing now they’re going back and talking about stuff in the past, why that Golden State Warriors ’74-’75 team has not had something special done about them — the biggest upset in the history of the NBA Finals — and they have done nothing about it. We didn’t get on the cover of Sports Illustrated. It’s probably the most overlooked accomplishment in major sports in our country… we won as a team!”

DUB NATION: “How did you come up with the under-handed free throw and why did you go to that?”
BARRY: “My father was a semi-pro player and coach back in the old days… my father thought I could be better than I was — I was a 75-percent shooter (from the free throw line) — and so he said ‘I think if you give it a chance, son, I think you could do it.’ I didn’t want to do it because back then girls did it, so I said ‘I can’t do that, everyone will make fun of me.’ And I remember it like it was yesterday, he said: “son, they can’t make fun of you if you’re making them.’ And he was right.”

DUB NATION: “Is it true most of you had side-jobs in addition to your NBA career?”
BARRY: “When I first came out: yeah! Tell me any first round draft pick that goes out and sells season tickets. I was selling season tickets!”
AZUBUIKE: “What!?”
BARRY: “Yes! I went out to sell season tickets to make some money. And then after my first season I was doing radio stuff for KNBR, I was doing radio broadcasting in the offseason… my contract was no guaranteed! I was offered $12,500 as the second player picked in the draft and my contract was not guaranteed. I had to make the team. I had no agents or anything, I negotiated from $12,500 to $15,000 and I got a $3,000 signing bonus, and I tell ya I was as happy as a pig in slop.”

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