Home » Cavs » When Jon Barry comes to town. Why we hate ESPN, #2.

When Jon Barry comes to town. Why we hate ESPN, #2.

Watched the Cavs-Hornets game on ESPN last night.  It was the usual stuff that bugs you about ESPN.

All the focus is on the new shiny toy (Kyrie).

Every assessment of Cleveland-related stuff was wrong.

This doesn’t rise to a ‘Why We Hate ESPN’ rant but there were a fair number of ditties that rankled.  We’ll catalog our grievances for the sake of posterity.

Scratch that.  It rises.  Not in an all-caps way.  But it was deplorable performance by ESPN’s backup team of Jon Barry and Mark Jones last night.


Intro:  “Cleveland is a punch-the-clock rust-bowl town…”  etc.
Just hacky.  Plus they forgot blue-collar and lunch-pail.

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 6.36.46 PM

The 2012 Cheddar Bay runner-up gets it.

Says here the largest employers in NEO look like this:

  • Cleveland Clinic, 34,000;
  • US Govt, 15,000;
  • University Hospitals, 14,000;
  • Summa Health, 8,000;
  • Giant Eagle, 10,000;
  • Progressive Insurance, 9,000;
  • Group Management Services, 7,000.

The Fisher Body plant closed in 1982.  Chrysler’s Twinsburg plant closed in 2009.  They stopped building Econolines in Lorain in 2005.

I won’t attempt to catalog the closings.  I’m just not sure the intro description really works anymore.


Jon Barry:  ‘Dion Waiters, Dwyane Wade comparisons are ridiculous.’

That might not have been the exact phrasing, but it was his message.  It got me thinking, so I took the time to compare their rookie numbers, age, height, weight.

The premise doesn’t look that nuts from the stats comparison.

Even the Heat announcers see it.


Does not shoot FTs as well as Tristan Thompson.

Barry:  carping about Tristan Thompson’s free throws.

HEY!  Jon Barry!?

TT shot free throws at .487 coming out of Texas.  Unlike some (many) NBA youngsters, TT actually worked at his game in several areas — he’s building a post game, he can now shoot rightie.  And his free-throw percentage went from 49% in college to 55% last year to 64% this year.

Better than a couple all-stars.  And a hell of a lot better than Dwight Howard who had a rookie FT pct of 67% and is now at 49%.

TT’s improvement is so rare and so reflective of a gifted athlete with the right focus on mastering his craft, it should be a pretty big story.  But instead we get a free-throw expert on national TV killing him.

It wasn’t a surprise to Cavs fans when TT made two clutch FTs at 0:54 to put the Cavs up seven.


Kyrie clutch at the end, scores 20 in the 4th.

It was a remarkable performance and impressive to Jon Barry.  After all Barry said this is the first time he’s seen KI live.  And we don’t think he meant ‘in person’ live.  He meant ‘I haven’t watched a Cavs game on TV since LeBron left.’

Ah well.

Welcome aboard, world.

We’ve been seeing this for some time now.  See the Deron Williams/Kyrie Irving ‘duel’ from March of 2012 below.  That’s KI —ROOKIE— schooling $18MM superstar D-Will.  If I remember correctly, D-Will’s dunk might have brought some chirping.  You can see how Kyrie responded.

3/19/2012. KI keys come from behind win. TT scores 27.

But hey, if it takes an all-star weekend to make it official for ESPN, who are we to complain?


Barry:  No way LeBron comes back to Cleveland.

Barry referenced a report in a Cleveland paper and made it the object of ridicule.  He must’ve missed the Miami Herald’s noticing of these rumors.  Not for nothing but the picture below is from Henry Abbot on … wait for it … ESPN.  And Abbot’s piece was spurred by … wait for it … Windhorst from ESPN.

But in any event, ‘no way LeBron’s coming back to Cleveland,’ sayeth Jon Barry.

It’s your narrative ESPN. Own it.


Why would LeBron want to play where he was born and raised and still lives to hookup with the league’s best point guard and an emerging shooting guard who compares to a young Dwyane Wade and a power forward who is committed to his game and who is also represented by his best friend’s agency and when that hometown team can pay his max contract without gutting the team?

You’re right.  Makes no sense.

Thanks for the insight Jon Barry.


Random links

Keith Dambrot’s rise from black-balled, unhire-able HS basketball coach to SVSM to ten years as Akron’s HC.  Now riding 17 game win streak, 12-0 in MAC, 21-4 overall.  Must read from Zac Jackson.

‘Reading a defense from your couch.’  Good defense primer by DBN-rufio.  Strikes a good balance of informative but not too dense.


  1. I’m not as high on TT as everyone else seems to be. He plays too much below the rim…but it is super positive to see him work on his game as you have suggested.

    Zach Lowe had a good take on Thompon last week: If Cunningham’s jumper is the sad symbol of Minny’s lost season, then Thompson’s off-hand floater might be the sign that perhaps Cleveland didn’t blow the 2011 draft by selecting Thompson over Jonas Valanciunas. Thompson has been thriving in a larger role since Anderson Varejao’s season-ending injury. He’s always been an active defender in space and a loud offensive rebounder, but he’s improved on the defensive glass and looked like a competent pick-and-roll player on the move. Thompson can catch in the lane one dribble from the basket, read the defense, and make the correct decision — pass, pump and drive, or launch that sweet floater? Good stuff.

  2. mgbode says:

    hey, at least Barry admitted that he never thought Kyrie would be this good coming out of college. he even referenced that it would have been impossible to tell because he only played 11 games at Duke. you know, unless you actually watched some of those games, became mesmorized at how good he really was (even in the AZ loss) and could see he was playing at another level from everyone else.

    but hey, why watch basketball games when you are paid to analyze them?

  3. Roosevelt says:

    It was clear that they hadn’t prepared at all, but this is a little over the top. Well, the only part I would really take issue with is the Wade/Waiters comparisons. By big man standards, Tristan is not even that bad at all, regardless of his improvement. It was inexcusable that they clearly were shocked at how good the first overall pick from last year was – forget Cleveland; did they never have to answer a question about last year’s draft? Did they never wonder how it turned out?
    And re: Lebron coming to Cleveland, I think he was wrong on two counts – first of all, making it sound like the whole town is banking on it, and second making it sound like there isn’t a chance in hell. But outside of a few musings, nobody is thinking about it seriously and it’s also not impossible.

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