Dr. J vs. Rick Barry

January 26, 2010, 11:57 pm
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Jan. 26, 2010WARRIORS PAGE

Last Friday night, during the Warriors pregame and postgame shows, we ran a poll asking viewers to select the greatest ABA player of all time. The choices were Julius Erving, Rick Barry, George Gervin, Artis Gilmore and Dan Issel.It turned out to be a close vote, with Barry edging out Erving 45 percent to 43 percent. Its nice that Bay Area fans got it right. Its a little troubling the vote was so close.It shouldnt have been.I tried to make the point that Barry definitely was a better player than Erving, although Erving got more attention because of his athletic ability. Barry did more things better than Erving, simple as that.Suffice it to say, some disagreed. So, I decided to ask someone who might know a little more on the subject than me. How about Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond?So, on Saturday night I had the pleasure of working with Thurmond. So I asked him: Nate, simple question: Was Rick Barry better than Dr. J?His answer: No question about it. I felt pretty good about that. I then took a moment to jot down my list of the 10 greatest players in NBA history according to me anyway. Here it is: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and Jerry West.I showed my list to Thurmond. His response: That looks pretty good to me. Cant say that any of those guys dont belong on the list.Anyway, thats our take. What do you think?
-- Matt Steinmetz

What's your take? Email Matt and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.