FanPost

A Brent Barry Sighting

This from MySA.com this morning on Brent Barry. Not too much in the way of earth shattering news, but good enough to share just in case anyone hasn't seen this yet.

Pro basketball: Barry still uncertain where he'll play

Web Posted: 02/26/2008 10:45 AM CST

Mike Monroe
San Antonio Express-News

Former Spurs guard Brent Barry, traded to Seattle last Thursday and subsequently released by the SuperSonics, cleared waivers Monday morning.

Now free to sign with any team, including the Spurs if he is willing to wait for another 25 days, Barry said he is no closer to a decision than he was Friday, when the Sonics cut him loose.

"As of 10 a.m. (Tuesday), there is no decision," Barry said. "There have been so many changes over the past few days it's very difficult. Just because I've cleared, I don't have a timetable that today is the day I have to decide."

NBA guidelines prevent Barry from returning to the Spurs for 30 days after the date on which he was traded, which was Feb. 20. That makes March 21 the first day he could re-join the team for which he has played since signing as a free agent in July 2004.

Barry, 36, has not played since suffering a left calf injury in the Spurs' victory over the Miami Heat on Jan. 24. It was a recurrence of a problem with the left calf that first hit Barry in a game against the Bulls on Dec. 26 and kept him out for three weeks. He likely needs another 10 days to two weeks before he is able to return to game action.

Nevertheless, Barry has been pursued by some of the NBA's best teams because he remains one of the league's best shooters and smartest players. In 29 games with the Spurs this season, he averaged 7.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.7 minutes per game.

The Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics all reportedly have reached out to Barry and his agent, Arn Tellem, and while it is presumed the Spurs also have expressed interest, general manager R.C. Buford on Monday said the club would have no comment, even after Barry cleared waivers.

Before the Sonics decided to release Barry, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had praised his play this season and wished him well.

"I thought Brent was having a fantastic year," Popovich said before the Spurs played the Minnesota Timberwolves last Thursday. "It started last year after we decided we weren't going to make any trades last year. He played with a more devil-may-care attitude the last half of last season. He came in with that mind-set this year and did real well."

mikemonroe@express-news.net and more MySA.com banter on the topic: Spurs mailbag: Flight of the mango tree? Only a guess Web Posted: 02/25/2008 06:20 PM CST Jeff McDonald Express-News Staff Writer We here at the Mailbag don’t claim to know what Brent Barry is thinking. We haven’t tapped his phone. We aren’t in his head. We don’t know for sure where he is going to wind up when his services go up for bid on Tuesday morning. What we have here is a hunch. A gut feeling. And that gut feeling tells us Barry’s new team will look a lot like his old team. Our hunch is Barry, essentially rendered a free agent during last week’s wheelings and dealings that brought Kurt Thomas to San Antonio, will re-sign with the Spurs, even if he has to wait nearly 30 more days to do it. Our guess is he will essentially be a former Spurs swingman for less than a week. But it’s only a guess, not worth more than the virtual paper it’s printed on. We’ll admit, from a pure playing-time perspective, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Some of the other teams on his list of suitors – Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Boston – could probably use him more. With the rise of Ime Udoka in the rotation, the Spurs are having enough trouble making room for all the wing players they’ve got. In the Spurs’ most recent victory, a 98-89 trumping of New Orleans on Saturday, Michael Finley – an erstwhile starter – managed to get on the floor for just 10 minutes, 45 seconds. How many minutes can coach Gregg Popovich carve for Barry, who is still at least 10 days away from being able to play again after his second stint on the injured list? The Rockets, Mavericks and Suns could find use for him as soon as he’s healthy enough. The Celtics would probably even offer him significant minutes at point guard. So if Barry returns to the Spurs, it won’t be for playing time. It will be for family – both his actual flesh and blood, and the fraternal bond of the Spurs locker room. Barry and his wife, Erin, have been active in the San Antonio community since he arrived in 2004. His kids, as much a fixture in the Spurs’ locker room as their father, are entrenched in school here. That will probably figure into Barry’s decision somehow. (Something that won’t: His starring turn in a series of local H-E-B commercials, though it did give rise to one of our favorite e-mails of the week. From Tom, in San Antonio: "Come back Brent. You’re the mango tree.") Then there is the prospect of returning to the team with which he’s won a pair of NBA titles. He’s familiar with the Spurs’ offense, he’s familiar with his teammates. There would be no learning curve. When he’s ready to play, he can just play. That has to factor in, too. Still, until Barry puts pen to new contract, anything is possible. Our gut feeling is that Barry will follow his heart, if not his head. But that’s only a hunch.

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