We are back with another Fire Jon Barry Broadcast Breakdown installment, evaluating the February 23rd Jon Barry telecast of the Houston Rockets vs. the Phoenix Suns. Jon Barry is in playoff form here, showing us why he scores low in all the criteria we can use to objectively analyze announcers.
First of all, he consistently mispronounces the names of both Goran Dragic and Donatus Motiejunas. This is unsurprising, it’s like Jon Barry’s version of a go-to move to prove he doesn’t study the games he is supposed to cover. Dragic doesn’t get any new video clips for this, as I already found what I think to be the best one in the Pelicans/Suns Broadcast Breakdown, but the Motiejunas clip below is beyond epic.
To kick things off, we have a great clip of Jon Barry being a total jerk to his friend, Dave Pasch, who went to Syracuse, and used to call basketball games at his alma mater. The night before, there was a questionable call on CJ Fair at the end of the game, and Boeheim went apoplectic, which pretty much sealed the fate of the Orangemen. Jon Barry is a dude that jokes around in a mean way. Like your friend who doesn’t really understand how to tease, and says things like “Oh yeah, well your mom is sick with cancer” or some other hurtful, over the top thing. Or that guy who texts you right after your team loses a stomach punch game. You know that guy. He usually is a Cowboys, Yankees, and Heat fan. That is Jon Barry. You have to know Pasch was bummed that ‘Cuse went down with the stomach punch, no need for Jon Barry to hop on with his odd teasing.
Here we have a clip where Dave Pasch asks Jon Barry if Dwight Howard was the best center in the NBA last year, and if he still thinks he is. Jon Barry doesn’t answer the first part of the question, starts out by saying “Well the pool of centers in the NBA isn’t very big” and then says that indeed he is the best center. He mentions “not needing to look at the numbers” for Howard, which, I am guessing, means that he hasn’t looked at the numbers and didn’t want to be pressed on his point. Anyone who watched the NBA last year, ANYONE, would have known that Dwight Howard was most certainly not the best center in the NBA during the year with the Lakers. Something was very clearly wrong with him (probably a combination of his attitude and his back troubles) and he just wasn’t the same player. Barry ducks this question, and offers a lukewarm thing about Howard now being the best because there aren’t many good centers in the league. Ok, then.
This Clip is Everything
This next clip is everything. It is the keystone. This is the grail. It encapsulates everything that makes Jon Barry a terrible announcer. I couldn’t believe my ears. This is FIRE JON BARRY GOLD. Nay, this is FIRE JON BARRY PLATINUM. This, to someone who created a site dedicated to firing Jon Barry, is like having a Black American Express card fall out of the sky.
So let’s get to it. Here we have a fast break for the Suns. Channing Frye tries to hit PJ Tucker for a corner 3 on the break, which is WIDE OPEN, but Frye throws the ball away. Quick note: PJ Tucker worked on his corner three for the entire offseason, knowing that hitting that shot was the difference between a long and successful career, and just barely hanging on. He laid the groundwork for a spot in the League last year by being a hustle-and-defense-first type dude, but he needed to add an offensive weapon to be truly successful. So he went to work on the Corner 3. Early in the shot clock, between 0-10 seconds in the beginning of a possession, he is hitting 53% of his shots. Below you can see a shot chart which shows his effectiveness on the Corner 3.
This shot would have been from the right wing, which it looks like isn’t his sweet spot like the left wing is, but he is still a decent shooter in that corner, particularly when combined with the data about his shots which come early in the shot clock, which show he is an excellent shooter early in the possession. Does Jon Barry talk about any of this? Readers of Fire Jon Barry will not be surprised to learn that he most certainly does not. This is what he says: “That’s the NBA now, on the fast break, guys run to the three point line, Tucker went right to the corner (annoying JB chuckle) for the three point line if he cuts to the rim, he has… a layup.” Yes. He does indeed have a layup, which is worth 2 points. If he hits that open three in the corner, it’s worth 3. This isn’t even advanced analytics, it’s just common sense.
The best part is, Jon Barry isn’t done for this clip, after that killer, insightful analysis. Donatus Motiejunas enters the game. Jon Barry: “Here we see MONTAY JOO NESS” and “I like this guy for this team. I am not going with his first name, I am going with his second one.” Then Dave Pasch corrects him with “MOE TAY YOU NUSS,” the actual pronuciation of his “second name.” Sometimes I think Jon Barry is trolling us about how little preparation he does for these games. Then Motiejunas (Mo Tay You Nuss, say it with me, it’s easy) gets blocked and Pasch drops a clear “MOE TAY YOU NUSS BLOCKED.” I bet Pasch gets tired of JB not doing his homework. Also, it’s not like saying Motiejunas’ name is some obscure and challenging dialect with clicks and pops that are difficult to master. It’s a pretty regular name. Once you say it out loud, pretty easy to do.
This clip is so money.
Sometimes Jon Barry figures stuff out in the course of a broadcast, and sometimes he continues to belabor a point on which he is very clearly wrong. This next clip is the latter. We have another fast break situation here. The Suns move the ball to Gerald Green. Gerald Green is also, like PJ Tucker, shooting at a great clip early on in the shot clock, 42% his highest percentage time to shoot. Gerald Green is not an elite shooter on the wing, but he also isn’t bad. You can see his shot chart below.
The Suns appear to want to push the ball, and get decent looking threes early in the shot clock, my guess would be that they think it helps with their offensive rebounding chances as well, because Howard might not yet be in the paint. So Jon Barry takes this chance to point out that Hornacek is telling Gerald Green “That’s the shot!” which Jon Barry, of course, takes issue with, as JB thinks it’s a bad shot. Again another three point look (this one is not as wide open, but it’s not a horrendous look either), early in the shot clock, and again Jon Barry doesn’t get it. I think it would be helpful if he developed an internal cuing mechanism, which told his mouth to stop talking when he starts disagreeing with a great coach, like Jeff Hornacek. Disagreeing with a solid coach is a key indicator he might want to stop talking.
That wraps up another Fire Jon Barry Film Session, thanks for tuning in.