Dave: "Wow, is that a Dana Barros jersey!?"
Jake F: "Um, no…it’s Iverson."
Dave: "Yeah, that makes sense."
-May 20th, 2014. Liberty Ballers Lottery Party
Dave: Dana Barros was must-see TV. I would sit inches away from my television, organizing pogs (since I didn't know how to actually play pogs) and watching Barros turn the entire league on its ear. I watched the Boston College product carry a ragtag bunch to a, well, usually a double-digit loss. But Barros did it with style, pizzazz. What the diminutive point guard lacked in size, he made up for with a Paul Bunyan-sized jump shot and an array of floaters that could best be described as:
I said hold ya head son, it’ll only take a second
(Check it out now)
Come onnnn while I wreck it
Dana Barros’ ’94-’95 season with the Sixers was a season on steroids. Even Brady Anderson was like, "Dude?" Barros, who only had one double-digit scoring season in his first six in the NBA, blew up for 20 ppg in a contract year. He shot a Korver-esque 46% from three-point land. He hung 41 on the Lakers, drilled nine triples against Phoenix, and dropped fifty on the defending champion, Houston Rockets.
You may be asking how a team with a 50 point scorer lost by twenty-nine points? Well, you can get a good luck at a T-bone by sticking your head up a butcher’s ass. No, wait ... It’s gotta be your bull.
The box score is a monstrosity. Please don’t click. Shawn Bradley and Sharone Wright combined for 7 points and 3 rebounds in 48 minutes. My memory is a bit hazy, but I’m pretty sure Bradley and Sharone left midway through the second quarter to go on a White Castle run. But, again, don’t click. Ignore the eight (EIGHT!) Rockets who reached double-figures. And disregard this little spat between head coach, John Lucas, and BJ Tyler.
After B.J. Tyler apparently threw a towel at him after a timeout confrontation late in the third quarter, Lucas banished the rookie to the locker room.
Tyler had made a behind-the-back pass that resulted in a turnover shortly before, and when Lucas criticized the play, the guard apparently heaved a towel before walking out of the huddle. When the timeout ended, Lucas shooed Tyler to the locker room. (Philadelphia Inquirer; March 15, 1995)
Happy Anniversary, Dana.
***My apologies to Willie Burton for missing his 20th anniversary***
Tanner: The Sixer era from ‘93 to ‘95 was the first I can remember in my lifetime. As a kindergarten prodigy with an impeccable double arm jumpshot (and DDT), I made it my duty to imitate sixers players on the hardwood (carpet) complete with mini-hoops from Pizza Hut in the basement of the Dave Steidel household. "Sorry, Mom. I've got to pass on dinner. This Spoon pump fake isn't going to practice itself."
Being an impressionable youngster, I lived for the flashiness of high scorers. Take your assists, boards, steals, whatever. Just give me the points and if they can be beyond the arc, even better. Get buckets and collect checks. My only option to get this on the Sixers was Dana and I went all in.
The 50 point effort against Houston was just adding to my already undying love for him. It's like when the British Bulldog won the main event at SummerSlam 92. Davey Boy was already in my top 5 favorite wrestlers and would have been even if Bret Hart wrapped him up with a small package thirty seconds into the match. But Davey Boy came out on top with his moment of glory. This was Dana's SummerSlam.
Sure, they lost by almost thirty. But they could have done that with Tim Perry going for 10 and 3 rebounds. If you're gonna get blown out, might as well do it with style.
Roy: Sixers 76 For 76: "What if I told you... that a 5'11" point guard scored 50 points for the Sixers in the mid-90s... and his name wasn't Allen Iverson?"
"Where were you the night Dana Barros dropped half a hundred?"
It was a Tuesday evening in the spring, so I know that 16-year-old me was definitely watching the game since "Rescue 911" was on hiatus until the fall.
I don't remember if the contest was on PRISM or SportsChannel, but I vaguely recall seeing Barros fill it up while watching Shawn Bradley hold Hakeem Olajuwon to a measly 13/7/4/6. For those of you who are too young to remember The Stormin' Mormon, Bradley was Nerlens Noel sans flattop. And sans actual athletic ability.
Going to go out on a limb and say that Barros is the only guy in NBA history to score 50 while shooting just two free throws. As a matter of fact, going to stay out on said limb and guess that Barros (who scored 7 on 2-for-9 shooting just two days earlier) is the only guy who dropped 50 for a team that got smashed by 29 at home. The Sixers were down 98-70 heading into the 4th quarter, so this was a clear stat-padding effort by everyone involved (thanks, Coach Lucas).
Two-plus years ago, some guy named Micah Hart, said that Barros was one of the most unlikely 50-point scorers in NBA history, and that's blatantly untrue. Barros could COOK when given the chance - he made the All-Star team that year and averaged 20.6 PPG and 7.5 APG on the season.
(For the record: At the annual Burton family reunion, we talk WAY more about cousin Willie's 53-point outburst than we do Barros's game. Just saying...)
Not only is The Spectrum just a memory these days, but the feat occurred so long ago that several of the companies advertised on the rotating billboards at the arena - U.S. Healthcare, Nobody Beats The Wiz, TravelOne - no longer exist (at least not in their previous form). IBM (pre-Lenovo) was pushing the Thinkpad back in those days, and we were still seven months away from the first-ever laptop that came with a CD-ROM drive installed. Yes, kids... these are the things you notice once you reach your middle 30s. Twenty years from now, I bet you all will find it strange to see Mudiay-to-Embiid highlights set to Meghan Trainor songs.
Happy Dana Barros Day, everybody. Be kind to your fellow man and woman. And don't be afraid to pull up in transition.