My key takeaway from breaking down all these Jon Barry broadcasts is you don’t have to wait long for him to say something that is ignorant, flat out wrong, head-scratching, or weird. I started out worrying that I wouldn’t have enough clips to put together posts on each broadcast, but brother, let me tell you, that was needless worry. The problem is figuring out which stupid/ignorant/flat-out wrong thing to record and post. This broadcast features some true gems. Let’s get to it.
So we have Jon Barry setting the stage for us, and he drops a “Nobody does it HARDER than Kenneth Faried.” This just made me laugh, a weird thing to say.
“Faried, something we could see a little more of, leading the break.” I love a few things about this. First, it’s not really a fast break. It’s transition, but there are no numbers. Second, I don’t think anyone on earth wants to see more of Kenneth Faried “leading” a fast break. He may be allowed to push the ball off long defensive rebounds in the hopes of generating some quick offense, but nobody is dying to see that dude dribbling the ball up the floor. (Side note: I am a huge Faried fan, I always thought his game would translate into the NBA, and I enjoy watching him play.)
“Get ready to watch this guy Vesely if he gets some open room. Big time athlete. I mean he can really get off the floor.” Vesely, alone in the gym, getting fed alley-oops, possibly worth watching. Watching Vesely on the court in the NBA is interesting in the same way that rubbernecking the Pacers collapse is interesting.
We have noted in the past that Jon Barry is fascinated by the one hour time difference in the mountain time zone. We have also noted that he has a tendency to step all over his play-by-play guy. Here we have an example of both. He is talking about the difficulty Denver is having early, and says perhaps the alarm hasn’t gone off yet because of the time difference. Then he just starts saying a sentence at the same time as Mark Jones, something about altitude. No mention at all of Ty Lawson not playing to start the game because he missed a meeting in the morning, and the impact that could possibly have. Instead, we have Mountain Time Zone Truther Theory #1.
This next clip is a Daily Double. I initially just recorded the first clip on it’s own, then re-started the broadcast, but realized the next stupid thing that Jon Barry said was right after, so I went back and re-recorded the whole thing. First, we have Jon Barry commenting on an incorrect call “Thankfully it’s not under 2 minutes and we don’t have to review. That is clearly off Gasol if I had to make a call.” I am not a huge fan of reviewing plays all the time, but I think it’s worth it to get the call right. Jon Barry’s mind is on what apps he is going to order at the Cheesecake Factory after the broadcast, he hath not time for instant replay.
And then we get probably the dumbest thing that Jon Barry says in the broadcast. Mark Jones is talking about Marc Gasol being a hometown product for the Memphis Grizzlies. Jon Barry is clueless as to how this could have happened.
“How did he end up here? I can’t imagine there are many moves from Barcelona to Memphis.” Mark Jones: “Well when your older brother gets drafted, I guess the family moves.” Jon Barry: “I didn’t even put that together. I’M NOT VERY BRIGHT”
This is probably the first time I have been in complete agreement with a bold Jon Barry claim. Not very bright indeed.
Tayshaun Prince started out sizzling in the first quarter, just eating the Nuggets alive. So coming out of a break we have a little highlight reel of Prince post moves. Jon Barry compares him to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Ok, then.
This next clip is probably just a shade under being the dumbest thing that Jon Barry says during the broadcast. Actually, scratch that. It’s tough to say what the dumbest thing that he says is. It’s similar to deciding which broadcaster is worse, Jon Barry or Reggie Miller. Or Jon Barry or Mike Smith. You can have your opinions, but it’s really just shades of the same argument. They are all awful. “I understand if you are the Memphis Grizzlies you are ecstatic about holding a team to 18 points, but I don’t know that you can do that quarter after quarter, night after night” So there it is basketball fans, your insight into the sustainability of holding a team to 18 points a quarter.
Jon Barry, being prodded by Mark Jones to provide an answer about who he thinks will win the NCAA Women’s Final Four: ”I’ll be watching golf somewhere.” Ok, so Jon Barry doesn’t care about the NCAA Women’s tourney. Neither do I really. The difference is he is paid to talk about basketball for ESPN. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Jon Barry hates the game of basketball.
Another Jon Barry gem: ”The West is going to come down to the match ups, if certain teams can avoid certain teams, they might just find themselves a path to the Finals.” I mean, that is next-level analysis right there. If Nate Silver watched this broadcast, he would have immediately hired Jon Barry to join Five Thirty Eight, hiring quadrant be damned.
Here we have a classic example of Jon Barry stepping all over his play-by-play guy. Aaron Brooks throws a long lob to Ty Lawson, who catches the ball right near the hoop in the air and lays it in. Jon Barry starts freaking out, steps all over Mark Jones, twice, and causes Mark Jones to sigh in frustration! This is particularly notable as Mark Jones is super professional, and never challenges JB for the ludicrous stuff that he says, unlike, say, Tirico. Poor dude.
(It occurs to me how ridiculously wrong I was earlier in the post for saying that the thing Jon Barry said was the dumbest thing he says in the broadcast. I was wrong like Jack Crawford was wrong about Hannibal. REAL wrong). “I remember being on playoff teams that were fighting for playoff position, I’d rather play against other teams that are fighting for position… There’s no pressure on this team… And sometimes that’s harder to play against.” Jon Barry says, possibly hoping that either nobody at all is watching the broadcast, or, if they are, they are all not of an age to know who Jon Barry the player was. If you are a young’un, Jon Barry was a stiff. Like a 10th or 11th man. I would imagine if I was a dude trying to lead my team to the playoffs, I would want every edge to win as many games as possible. Including, I’d imagine, playing teams that were awful and eliminated from the playoffs already, for whatever reason. Denver is decimated by injuries. Should be a W for Memphis.
Ah, the patented Jon Barry snark.“I was going to talk about the Knicks and what kind of job Phil Jackson has done. Absolutely incredible. His presence alone has made this team a completely different ballclub.” I don’t really see the point in saying this, unless it’s to be a smug prick.
Here we have some more of Jon Barry stepping all over Mark Jones, talking about Denver’s defense, plus another ridiculous comment. ”Denver’s defense has been a little bit overlooked tonight” (I think this is Mark Jones pointing out that Jon Barry hasn’t talked about this as the analyst, haha, you GO Mark Jones, get some).
JB then steps on his lines, and adds: “They were just down 8 points, you thought this game might get away from them, but they are playing with great pride.” Nuggets were down by 6 when he said this. Great pride = whittling the 8 point lead down to a 6 point lead.
This is probably my favorite Jon Barry line of the night. Jon Barry, admonishing Mozgov for closing out on Tony Allen and leaving Z-bo: “You’ve got to know your personnel.” The analysis is correct, I just enjoy the concept of Jon Barry getting miffed that somebody didn’t do their research or is somehow ill-prepared for a situation.
Mark Jones asks Jon Barry if he saw any effects of the Grizzlies coming off a 5 game road trip. Jon Barry says they “Started out rusty.” The Grizzlies came out and took a 14-2 lead. #rust
I have already written about Jon Barry and the verticality rule, but it’s always nice to have some extra evidence to support how awful JB is at his job. I also have a theory: Jon Barry thinks “verticality” for a defender means “having his arms in the air.” The rule: Player needs to have arms straight up and needs to jump straight up. Player can’t twist to the side with arms straight up. So arms need to be vertical and body needs to be straight on. Player needs to be in the air. Here we have Marc Gasol, with his arms in the air, turned sideways, on his feet. One out of the three ain’t bad. “Gasol thought he had his arms straight up, but I think clearly he breaks the line of verticality.” In that above linked piece, I noted that I thought it was great that the NBA released the memo that they shared with the referees so we can all see how the rule should be called, and that it was particularly important as we don’t have to rely on Jon Barry to interpret the rules for us. Nailed that one.
And, finally, Jon Barry ends his broadcast of the Memphis Grizzlies game by obliviously praising Coach Cal, pretty much persona non grata in Memphis. But not before he compares Zach Randolph to Moses Malone, and incorrectly predicting a Florida win. ”John Calipari doesn’t get near enough credit for the coaching job he does.”
Another amazingly awful Jon Barry broadcast.