Ol' dad never did anything like this.
Brent Barry, one of four basketball-playing sons of Hall of Famer Rick Barry, put on a sizzling show on All-Star Saturday, winning the slam dunk competition with a soaring performance that was more reminiscent of Dr. J than his earthbound father.Barry, a rookie guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, took the slam dunk competition with a dunk that Julius Erving originated back in the first such contest at the 1976 ABA All-Star game. From a running start, Barry took off with his foot straddling the foul line, bounding through the air to a straight-on dunk.
It drew a 49 out of a possible 50 points from a panel of judges that included Erving.
"I think Julius was the one who stiffed me," Barry said.
Today's All-Star roster may be top-heavy with 30-something players in the twilight of their careers, but Saturday belonged to the NBA's next generation.
Besides Barry's victory in the slam dunk contest, the Schick Rookie Game ended on a thrilling note when Joe Smith's 3-point almost-buzzer-beater was waved off, giving the Eastern Conference team a 94-92 victory. In between, the 3-point shooting contest was won by Washington's Tim Legler, a player who has put in time in just about every pro league you can name.
Teenager Demetrius Houston missed the biggest 3-point shot of the night.
The 17-year-old Floridian had a chance to win $1 million from Foot Locker by sinking the long shot, but it fell short. As a consolation prize, Houston got $10,000.
"I'm glad I went through it and just got it on out of the way," Houston said. "I was nervous a little. But when I stepped on the court, I blocked everything out of my mind."
Barry, who also made a couple of dazzling plays in the rookie game, capped off the evening in exciting fashion, impressing even Erving.
"I thought his was awesome," Erving said. "It shows you what 22-year-old legs can do."
Barry, actually 24, is a 6-foot-6 beanpole whose nickname is Bones. Erving was 26 when he did the dunk in '76, and 34 when he did it again in the inaugural NBA dunk contest in 1984. Michael Jordan did the same dunk to win in 1987.
"What Brent did was the kind of dunk you don't see in every contest," said fellow finalist Michael Finley of Phoenix. "I've never tried it, but I think I could do it."
Barry unveiled his free-throw dunk in the first round, getting screams from the crowd and a standing ovation from what he called the "$1,000 suit section," the group of well-dressed All-Stars sitting on the sidelines.
In the finals, Barry didn't know what to do for his final dunk, but Clyde Drexler and Grant Hill urged him to fly again. As Barry walked beyond the halfcourt line, the crowd began cheering and he beckoned for more.
Is he the best dunker in his family, which includes Golden State's Jon and Drew, a senior at Georgia Tech.
"It certainly wasn't my father, c'mon," he said."Everybody can throw it down a little."
Showing abundant wit, Barry acknowledged that his performance exploded certain ethnic myths about leaping ability.
"I was going to wear a shirt that said, `White Men Can,' but I didn't want to burst anyone's bubble," he said.
Before the dunking contest, Barry scored eight points, had five steals and dished out four assists in the rookie game.
Since Smith's shot didn't count, Toronto's tiny Damon Stoudamire was the star of the rookie game, winning the MVP award. He had 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting, 11 assists, four steals and only two turnovers.
Stoudamire, a 5-foot-10 point guard who's the early favorite for rookie of the year honors, had been bothered by a sore shoulder and thought about skipping the game. His boss, Raptors president Isiah Thomas, soon changed his mind.
"I got down here, the adrenline started flowing and Isiah started calling my room," he said. "I think the biggest thing about it is it put a cap on a great first half of the season."
Stoudamire, who scored five of the East's final nine points, leads the expansion Raptors in points and assists and has played more minutes than any other rookie. This game was no different.
"He was hoggin' it," Barry said. "Point guards love all-star games because they've got the ball all the time."
The game featured both a 19-year-old rookie, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, and a 31-year-old rookie, Portland's Arvydas Sabonis.
"I find it funny that Schick sponsors this game and Kevin can't even shave," Barry said.
Legler, who has played for six NBA teams and in the CBA, USBL and WBL, set a blistering pace in the 3-point contest, sponsored by AT&T, that no one could match.
He scored 23 points in the first round, followed it with 22, and posted 20 in a final shootout with Dennis Scott of the Orlando Magic, who won $10,000 with rounds of 19, 19, and 14.
Charlotte's Glen Rice, the defending champion, didn't get out of the first round.
Legler also has played for Phoenix, Denver, Utah, Dallas and Golden State.
"This makes up for a lot of things that have happened to me," he said. "Several teams in the NBA just gave up on me without giving me a chance."