“Amidst the errors there shone forth men of genius; no less keen were their eyes, although they were surrounded by darkness…”
Finally, Dispatches from the Dark arrives at the great migration of Dana Bruce Barros. Not the first renaissance man to sojourn from Boston and bottle lightning in the City of Philadelphia. And not the last 5’11 shooting guard to scorch the nets in sworn service of Sixer-dom (and where no. 3 while he was at it)
And while Dana Barros might not be of fully equal stature to these two titans, let us remember the moments of sheer ecstatic brilliance he provided in his short time amongst us.
A Boston baller, born and bred, Barros brought his sweet jumper and basket attacks to Boston College. A nominal point guard, the shoot-first Barros averaged a scintillating 24 points per game against 3.3 assists his senior season.
Barros was a hyper efficient scoring machine, cranking out 9 three point attempts per game, and hitting 43% of them. Barros drew 5 free throw attempts per game while he was at it, all this added up to a a blistering true shooting percentage of 63%, and establishing him as one of the College Basketball’s most prolific scorers.
But concerns about the NBA viability of a 5’11 shooting guard, pushed the silky scoring savant to the back end of the first round in the 1989 draft, selected 16th by the SuperSonics.
One of the oddest drafts in recent history, with the back-half of the first round providing way more talent than the front end.
headlined by semi-busts, Pervis Ellison and Danny Ferry, the top ten produced only 2 All Stars, Sean Elliot, and Glen Rice with the 3rd and 4th picks.
Picks 11 through 20 were absolutely stacked, netting Nick Anderson, Mookie Blaylock, Tim Hardaway, Dana Barros, Shawn Kemp, BJ Armsgtrong, and Vlade Divac way back at pick number 26.
In case you were wondering, the Sixers and Sonics had swapped picks in this draft as the result of a previous trade. The Sonics got Shawn Kemp with the Sixers ostensible 17th pick. Ouch…
The Sixers got Kenny Payne at 19. Double Ouch….
Let’s us mourn the loss of the impossible Shawn Kemp/Charles Barkley forward tandem that might have been.
But back to Barros, The diminutive guard found himself pinned behind future hall of famer Gary Payton.
Barros saw limited action before finding his way to a miserable Philadelphia at the start of the 1993-94 season, with his Boston College scoring exploits fully revived in the the 1994-95 season.
Here is the BIG NIGHT. Barros dropping 50 in a (fittingly) blowout loss to the Houston Rockets. Crazy box score is here…
Perhaps even more amazing is the triple double the 5’11 gaurd tallied against the Orlando Magic 1 month later. Going for 25pts/15ast/10reb/3stls. All of this enough to earn Barros his lone trip to the All Star game.
Let’s watch some more Barros, assembled by Hoops Mystic, TheKingMisiek…
And while it strains credulity, Barros was not the only player to tally a 50 point outing on that 24 win Sixers team, as this was also the year of former Dispatches from the Dark subject Willie Burton.
Here is the Fleer celebration of the 50 point scorers of the 94-95 season.
Alas, Barros’ romance with Philly would be short-lived. As free agency arrived at the end of the season and Barros spurned the Sixers advanced to return triumphant to hometown (and Sixers arch-rival) Boston.
But in Postscript:
Let’s take a moment to reflect on Dana Barros prodigious non basketball exploits. Considered to be perhaps the best rapping NBA player of the 1990’s.
you can buy the vinyl here… for $7.99…
And let’s further mention that post retirement Barros, spent about 10 minutes as the recreation commissioner for the City of Boston, appointed by noted coockuloo Mayor, Tony Mennino
Dana Barros, we love you still…