Since my blog post on Rick Barry criticizing LeBron James and the coaching he's getting in Cleveland generated so much debate, I decided to bring you this: Barry explaining his comments to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Essentially, Barry says we shouldn't shoot the messenger. He's merely trying to make LeBron better by pointing out flaws in his jump shot and how he's utilized in the Cleveland offense -- things that the Cavs' coaches should be correcting. IMHO, the Cavs' coaching staff has vastly improved how and where James gets the ball with the addition of Mo Williams and some tweaks to the offensive playbook. It's hard to argue with Barry's assessment of LeBron's jump shot, though. Pretty obvious his right elbow sticks out to the side when he's in shooting position.
Anyway, there you go. No sense in starting a controversy without finishing it.
Here are the highlights from Barry:
* "People are making a big deal, as if I was putting LeBron down. Why be mad at me for trying to make one of the best players better? It's constructive criticism. It's not LeBron's fault if he's not taught something and not taught how to correct it. He doesn't know he has a problem."
* "There's a technical flaw in his outside shot. That's why he went 9-for-25 against the Lakers. He's not a good outside shooter. But just imagine if he became more of an accurate shooter. His free throws would get even better and it would open up so much more to his game."
* "They give him the ball and make him go one on five and that's crazy. Give LeBron the ball when he's on the move. Who's going to stop him? And he needs to curl when he comes off screens when you have a defender on your back. Why wasn't he taught this?"
Guess they didn't teach that at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.