Brent Barry: ‘No Reason For Melo To Play In All Star Game’

Brandon Tierney welcomed 1996 Slam Dunk champion and current TNT NBA analyst Brent Barry to CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday by giving him a little pop quiz:

Name the five guys you beat in the Slam Dunk Contest almost 20 years ago.

Barry rattled off all five – Michael Finley, Greg Minor, Darrell Armstrong, Dough Christie and Jerry Stackhouse – to perfection, barely pausing between names.

“You got to know your competition,” Barry joked on Tiki and Tierney.

Barry’s contest-winning dunk is remembered for two reasons: one, he took off from the free-throw line, and two, he kept his warm-up shirt on for the dunk.

“I just forgot to take it off, to be honest with you,” Barry said. “I made some jokes over that weekend. It was my rookie year. I participated and was stoked to participate in the Schick Rookie Game. At that time, it was the rookies only. It wasn’t rookies/sophomores, or the International Legion of Doom versus Super Friends of America. It was just rookies. So I got invited to play in the Schick Rookie Game. The only rookie who shaved at that time was (Arvydas) Sabonis – and so Schick was a good sponsor for him, not for the rest of us.

“But the Dunk Contest, it was awesome,” Barry continued. “I went there just to go have some fun. That’s what I’m kind of hoping for this Saturday in New York City – that these guys aren’t worried about what happens if you win or what you need to promote during the contest. Just have some fun. That will come across to everybody and everybody in the arena will enjoy the exhibition that it is.”

Barry will be covering this year’s dunk competition, which features Zach LaVine, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo and Mason Plumlee.

As for the actual All-Star Game, it will be interesting to see if Carmelo Anthony, who aggravated his left knee in a Monday loss to Miami, will actually play, especially since he might shut it down for the Knicks (10-42) in the second half of the season.

Should Anthony try to tough out a few minutes Sunday?

“It’s such a tough call being the host city and being the only representative of – I don’t know, do we say there’s New York basketball left with the way the Knicks are playing?” Barry asked. “It’s tough, but I would hope that he could muster up at least to get on the court in the first quarter, to be out there for tip-off and do that. But there’s no reason for him to play in this exhibition game. Of course, the last game that he played, he limped off the court in Miami and looked, by all intents and purposes, that he’s not going to be playing much in the second half of the season – which, for the Knicks, is the right call. If there’s something going on with him – structural damage to the knee – there is no point for the Knicks to try to do what it is that they’ve been doing all year, which is nothing at this point. He needs to get healthy.”

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