We’re back with another Fire Jon Barry Broadcast Breakdown. I am so glad I combed through the archives to find and break this broadcast down, as it features some Jon Barry gems, and perhaps my favorite ESPN broadcasting gimmick of all tim – a leading candidate for the unintentional Jon Barry comedy in the history of broadcasting.
I know I have pointed out that Jon Barry can’t pronounce Dragic a few thousand times, but I felt like it was a good way to kick things off. I find these opening segments with Jon Barry fascinating, as it’s always very clear he hasn’t done his homework. This is probably how my English Professors felt when they listened to me ramble on about an assignment in order to fulfill the class participation requirement. JB checks off his participation box, but not so much on the preparation.
I have also found that Jon Barry strings together sentences about basketball, similar to sentences I have heard coaches, players, and announcers say aloud, but when his sentences are taken together as a whole, they make zero sense. He is like a walking non-sequitur. This clip is the paradigm. They will teach this at Northwestern someday. He is talking about the Suns: “But you see the rhythm of this team… They’ve just been moving the basketball up and down the floor a little bit… Create some energy (the laws of thermodynamics apply not to Jon Barry)…Better shots… Too many times their offense dictates their defense and they’ve been standing in mud.” Taken separately some of these phrases make sense, but not when applied to the Suns. Taken together, well I just have no idea what on earth he is trying to say.
I love this clip, classic Jon Barry. Mason Plumlee comes over and puts the hammer on Kevin Love, who is able to finish and get the shot to drop, despite the contact. ”That is the emphasis from the officials, if the defender goes straight up, they allow that body contact.” I am not sure what laws of physics JB uses to determine that Mason Plumlee goes “straight up.” It’s not the ones the rest of us have agreed on.
THIS IS THE BEST. Kudos to the ESPN Production crew, I heart you guys. This broadcast is from January 8, and the Suns were the primary surprise of the NBA season to date, and don’t really feature any well-known superstars. The ESPN production team took this and made some “WHO ARE THE SUNS” quizzes. Please make the “WHO ARE THE X” quizzes a regular part of any and all Jon Barry broadcasts. I can almost hear him squirming when Mark Jones busts this out on him. First answer is Drah – gitch. JB says Drah-jick, because he is Jon Barry, and he also says it after Dragic comes up on the screen. Next up is Channing Frye. I think Mark Jones says his name right before JB does, kind of helping him out. So JB is barely able to get the softball answers to the easy to solve quizzes about the team he is covering. Dear ESPN: Moar quizzes for Jon Barry please.
MOAR QUIZZES INDEED! JB gets this one, the Morris brothers. I wish we could do this more often.
Most agree that one of the weirdest things about Jon Barry is the existence Brent Barry. Bones is a great analyst, is funny, insightful, and is a totally likeable dude. And then there is Jon Barry, who has none of these attributes. Since the Morris bros are playing in this game (It goes without saying that Jon Barry can’t tell the difference between them) there is some bro talk. Markieff kicks the ball to an open Marcus who nails the 3. Jon Barry: “I wonder if my brother was in the corner, if I’d swing it to him” Mark Jones: “Did he ever make that pass to yo..” (JB Cuts him off) “I doubt it. Oh, I know he wouldn’t throw it to me.” So JB might not pass the ball to Brent, even if he was open. Nutshell’d.
JB talking about Chase Budinger: “I saw him on the beach playing volleyball, this guy can get up in the sand. Big time.” This clip isn’t really anti-Jon Barry so much as it is pro-Karch Kiraly. Also, is there a more likely dude in the NBA to play beach volleyball than Chase Budinger? Maybe Chandler Parsons? Should it be shocking to me that the most interesting insight Jon Barry had to offer on a broadcast was that Chase B. is a King of the Beach?
One of Jon Barry’s go-to moves on any broadcast is to provide long lists of reasons for things that he sees. It’s like he thinks if he lists all the things, then he will be right about some of them, and won’t get challenged. This next thing cracks me up, as he lists tons of reasons that the Timberwolves might be a poor shooting team but score lots of points, but doesn’t list the most obvious reasons I can think of, which is that they play at a fast pace and have a terrible defense. “Second chance points, they create a lot of turnovers, they pass the ball well (?), they get steals, but not a great shooting team, they do ALL the dirty work, and most of the time, that’s Pekovic and Love.” Sentences!
This play is great, and Jon Barry doesn’t disappoint in breaking it down. Dragic drives right by Barea, and Ronny Turiaf hesitates and drops a step to keep Markieff Morris covered, then steps into Dragic, but is a bit late, forcing Dragic to change gears and miss the shot, which is tipped in easily by Morris, as he bodies out Shved on the mismatch for the rebound. The Morris/Shved mismatch was caused primarily by the rotations that were necessary after Dragic beat Barea, but also by Turiaf floating in no-mans land, as he hesitated to prevent Dragic from passing to Morris, and then closed a little late (but he did, as I noted, indeed force Dragic to miss). So the outcome was an easy tip in for the Wolves. Jon Barry analyzes, excitedly: “You see that play right there by Turiaf? It’s not a shot block, but that changed everything. Drah – Gick (a new mispronunciation, impressive) winds up missing that shot because of the contest by Turiaf, and that’s what the Wolves seriously lack.” Weird thing to call out as a thing that the team seriously lacks, as the team just did it right before our very eyes. Also weird to mention it like it was some sort of great outcome instead of an easy two points. You get the feeling JB thought he had discovered the higgs boson to solve the T-Wolves probs.
Predicting what an offense is going to do in a crucial situation never fails to expose Jon Barry as a fraud. “I’m going to assume Drah-jick is going to get this basketball up top, maybe a high screen and roll with Channing Frye to open him up at the three point line, but it’s going to be Drah-jick at the top trying to create to the basket.” It is important to note he is talking about Frye being open at the three point line after a screen and roll. Lol. Jon Barry has probably been paid millions of dollars to announce NBA games, and quite literally does not understand what a screen and roll is. So the play begins, and Dragic starts with the ball up top, and then Channing Frye comes to set a screen, but does not roll, because he is Channing Frye, and instead pops out to the three point line, where he is actually open, but Dragic starts losing control of the ball, throws an ugly pass to Morris, who hands off to Green, who hits a crazy jumper to put the Suns up. ”Boy, he was close to being out of bounds!” Jon Barry notes, just before the replay shows Gerald Green jumping from roughly five feet away from the end line.
Key takeaway: ESPN should pop more quizzes on Jon Barry.