This broadcast featured the absolute worst thing I have heard Jon Barry say yet, taking a bigoted shot at an NBA legend. A brutally ugly game between the Clippers, who were on a SEGABABA and also playing shorthanded in the Denver altitude, and the struggling Nuggets, featured a ton of Jon Barry Mouth Gems. The Nuggets paid homage to their 1994 playoff team, and we are doing the same at FJB with this writeup.
I am convinced that Jon Barry has the work ethic of Beavis and/or Butthead. I am pretty sure he basically rolls out of bed, puts on a suit, waits for the camera to turn on, and then starts spewing out whatever runs through his monkey brain. Tonight, he points out he only sees four Clippers dressed on the bench, and notes that they only have 9 players available. Tirico corrects him by listing the players.
“As I look down at the bench, i see four guys dressed, so they only have 9 guys active tonight?” he asks Tirico, because of course he doesn’t know. “Oh no, no there is 10, I forgot about Granger.” Not to go all Bright Lights Big City on you, but: You might expect the game analyst to peruse the lineups before the game started. You will be disappointed if you are expecting Jon Barry to give you that level of effort, minimal as it may be.
Tirico mentions how teams have difficulty coming to Denver, and Jon Barry comments about how “tough it is to (come to Denver) and lose an hour.” That is literally the first time I have ever heard someone talk about the hardship of losing an hour in a time zone change. Three hours, sure. One hour, that’s a first world prob.
Every once in a while Jon Barry surprises me. This time, he drops a “What’s the Frequency Kenneth“ REM reference, which is incredibly timely, as the Nuggets are wearing their jerseys from that era, after Faried throws down a dunk. Not content to have said something that is relatively funny and uncannily appropos, he tries to draw Tirico’s attention to it and get Tirico to give him props by pointing out that he just said something funny. I imagine him elbowing Tirico while he does this, like Rodney Dangerfield, but not funny.
Jon Barry: I love Joe Crawford.
Jebus. No further comment necessary.
Next we have Jon Barry talking about how Danny Granger would have been better off sticking with the tanking Philadelphia 76′ers because he would have been getting tons of minutes and could have shown that his knee was okay, and now he is unfortunately stuck on the contending Clippers. More BLBC: You won’t often hear someone say it was a bad choice to leave a team that’s tanking and is likely to break the all-time consecutive loss record to go to a legit playoff contender. You might not hear anyone else say that besides Jon Barry. You should be a little sad on the inside that you have to listen to Jon Barry every night. You want to believe there is hope on the horizon (Fire Jon Barry) but you are resigned to a life filled with inaccuracy, smug condescension, and unsubstantiated claims.
One of the things Jon Barry is paid to do is communicate the rules of the NBA to the viewer. He is remarkably unable to do this, mostly because he doesn’t know the rules. This happens every single time I break down tape of JB. He will frequently ask Tirico what the rules are, which never fails to crack me up. Tirico is like “uh, I don’t know Jon.” In this case he was actually right, but it took him a bit to be sure. BLBC: You might expect an analyst to spend time learning the NBA Rulebook to facilitate communication of the rules. You shouldn’t expect this from Jon Barry. If you expect this from Jon Barry, you will experience crushing disappointment. This crushing disappointment will remind you of what it’s like to be 23 and realize that your dreams aren’t really going to come true.
This was Basketball Twitter’s favorite part of the broadcast tonight. First, that image of Blake Griffin getting fouled and screaming under the HARD FOULS heading is hilarious. Then, we have Tirico asking about Blake Griffin retaliating after getting attacked. Problem is, Blake Griffin clearly just took Faried down with a cheap shot arm lock tackle thing, which, of course, is like his go-to move. Faried got the foul called on him, and it was awful. Jon Barry then boldly claims that “Blake Griffin is the third best player in the NBA.” He is the second best player on the Clippers. He has been on fire of late, to be sure. Claiming he is the third best player in the NBA is just weird.
This is the first time I have clearly heard Joey Crawford’s voice. “WILL SOMEONE COME OVER HERE AND GET THIS GUY.” Classic. He sounds just like I imagined, a cross between Bobcat Goldthwait and Fireman Bill.
This is the longest clip in the history of Fire Jon Barry. This is the money shot. Here we have an admittedly odd play, where Ty Lawson is fouled while shooting a three at the very end of the shot clock. He is fouled before the shot clock ends, releases the ball, and makes the shot. Since he got fouled before the shot clock ended, it doesn’t matter that he didn’t release until after the clock expires. Jon Barry clearly doesn’t understand this. You can tell when Jon Barry is unsure of himself as his voice goes up an octave. He also will begin talking about things that are incredibly obvious “He was behind the line wasn’t he?” as Lawson is clearly like three feet behind the line. He also will ask the play-by-play guy about the rules. “They’re counting it!?!” “So he’s getting three free throws.” “It’s Good!” “I see, YES, oh YES.” “As soon as the foul is committed, the clock stops!” Listening to this was like watching the Warden realize that Andy was gone for good in Shawshank. You got it champ!
This next clip is awful. Jon Barry is a bigoted fool. I am sure he doesn’t understand that he is, but he is. So the Nuggets were wearing the sick uniforms on this night because they were honoring the legendary 8 seed Nuggets, featuring Dikembe Motumbo, that beat the 1 seed Sonics 20 years ago. Dikembe is like the nicest dude. Much like Austin Carr, he just makes me smile. He is like joy personified. So Heather Cox interviews him and asks him about the win and everything, and it’s cracking me up. I had the thought “It’s awesome that the NBA has Dikembe as an ambassador of the game, I bet he’s great at that.’” Then Tirico starts talking about the weird things that have happened to the guys that were on that Nuggets team. Bison Dele, lost at sea. Rodney Rogers, paralyzed in freak ATV accident. Serious, sad stuff. JB seizes the opportunity to add some completely tone-deaf humor, and makes fun of Dikembe Motumbo’s accent. BLBC: You might have tuned into this game because you love the Denver Nuggets. Your childhood hero just may have been Dikembe Motumbo. You may not have any idea who Jon Barry is, or why he is spewing nonsense about
This clip is a great follow-up to the last one, in which we saw so much of what makes us want to smack Jon Barry. JB says he “doesn’t know what it is about Blake Griffin that makes people want to smack him.” ahah. It makes me happy that Jon Barry doesn’t understand why people want to smack Blake. I bet JB also doesn’t understand why people would want to smack JB.
Finally, we leave you with A Moment of Zen, in which Dikembe Motumbo Charlie Browns the Nuggets mascot and then gives him a finger wag: