2010 Report Card: Earl Barron

The Earl of Barron

Earl “The Pearl” Barron

Earl “The Duke” Barron

Ah, the late season gem. Over the last ten years (Can we start calling it “The Lost Decade?”), Nix fans have had precious little to root for as the calendar hit March and April. The 8th seed was a lofty place where our boys could find no purchase . What we did have in abundance, was 11th/12th men and/or D-League call-ups who’d capture the fancy of the maddening throng by putting up some nice/solid efforts in otherwise meaningless games, the most surprisingly effective of which (Sorry. Courtney Sims. You do, however, win the award for “Knick whose moniker sounds the most like that of a Porn Starlet”) was 2010’s Earl “Insert Pun-tastic Nickname Here” Barron.

For those unacquainted w/his personal bio, The Earl was an undrafted 7’ Center out of Memphis in 2004…

Stop. Let’s take a moment to ponder that seemingly innocuous fact. If you’re 7′ tall and play for even a semi-viable college program, you will get drafted by the NBA. It’s the corollary of Parcells’ “earth-movers” theory – to wit: there are a limited number of sentient beings who are 7′ tall who have operant limbic systems and one absolutely must have one of these massive individuals on one’s roster in order to win. Ergo, go git that big mofo!

Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen the likes Patrick O’Bryant, Rafael Araujo, Curtis Borchardt, Hasheem Thabeet. BJ Mullens, Spencer Hawes, Jason Smith, Hilton Armstrong, Saer Sene, Johan Petro, Robert Swift (sorry ex-Sonics fans), The Immortal Pavel Podkolzine (I think Pavel P. and Chad Ford ended up getting an apartment together – Darko’s moving in next year), DeSagana Diop, (Channeling my inner Jack Horner/Burt Reynolds here, those are great names!) all taken 5-10 spots in the draft ahead of where they should have been selected b/c…well…”You can’t teach height.

So the fact that The Barron went completely undrafted suggests that, while he may not have been vertically challenged, the varied talent evaluators thought he didn’t even possess a glimmer of the ancillary skills required to play professional basketball at the highest level. (See Mike K’s excellent Eddy Curry Autopsy for further reading on this subject.) The early part of his career certainly suggested that the wags were correct as he toiled for Tuborg Pilsner in the Turkish league, the Hunstville Swift of the D-League, and w/Red Bull Barako in the Phillipines from 2003-05.

Pat Riley did bestow him a towel-waving gig for the champeenship (refs…cough, cough…refs) Heat in ’05-’06 and he managed to stick around for another two seasons, but nothing in the numbers suggested he was anything more than a big body taking up space:

So when the Nix signed him to a 10-day, the odds of Early Barroness doing anything of note were somewhere between slim and none (And Slim’s outta town and I ain’t no nun!)

But lo! Somewhere in his wanderlust, The Earl acquired a very solid 15-18 ft. jumper and prowess on the boards that was eerily reminiscent of David Lee’s early work. Now whether he can maintain this pace, or this seven-game blip is just a statistical anomaly another matter altogether. After all, for a 10-games or fewer stint, you know how many centers averaged 10 ppg and 11 rpg at age 28 or later? One. Earl Barron!

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 3
Defense: 2
Teamwork: 5
Rootability: 5
Performance/Expectations: 5+

Final Grade: B+

Similarity Scores:

.000 Earl Barron 2010 NYK 14.7 50.8 44.1 12.7 4.8 11.9 1.2 0.6 0.6 1.7
.068 Mike Brown 1992 UTA 12.3 51.5 45.3 12.8 3.8 9.6 1.6 0.8 0.7 2.1
.083 Derek Strong 1997 ORL 13.6 51.3 44.7 12.6 3.1 9.3 1.3 0.8 0.4 1.8
.087 Olden Polynice 1993 DET 14.6 49.5 49.1 13.5 5.0 11.6 0.8 0.9 0.6 1.5
.124 Joe Smith 2004 MIL 16.6 51.0 44.0 13.3 3.7 10.3 1.2 0.8 1.5 1.3
.125 Joe Kleine 1990 BOS 10.5 52.9 48.0 11.5 3.1 9.4 1.2 0.4 0.7 1.7
.154 Drew Gooden 2010 TOT 16.9 54.7 47.9 15.7 4.2 11.1 1.0 0.8 1.2 2.2
.159 Dan Gadzuric 2007 MIL 11.9 48.2 47.4 11.1 4.0 10.5 1.2 0.9 1.4 2.1
.161 Mark Bradtke 1997 PHI 9.6 46.3 43.1 8.5 3.7 9.8 1.0 0.7 0.7 1.3
.167 Jim Chones 1978 CLE 14.9 50.3 47.2 15.2 2.7 10.5 1.6 0.6 0.7 2.3
.168 Eddie Lee Wilkins 1991 NYK 10.5 47.4 44.7 15.0 3.7 9.7 0.8 0.9 0.4 2.7

In a very limited sample size Barron hit open J’s, hustled after loose balls, and was a reasonable facsimile of a defensive presence, which as all well know, the ‘Bockers have lacked since Mutombo made his cameo in ’03. We can only hope that he’ll be eternally grateful to D. Walsh for plucking him from obscurity and sign a reasonable deal to provide solid minutes off the bench next season. Then again, w/the utter dearth of bigs, who knows? He might get a poor man’s McIlvaine/Koncak/Jerome James-type deal from some poor, addled GM out there. Isiah?

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16 thoughts to “2010 Report Card: Earl Barron”

  1. Good write up. I wish I could say I was more excited about Earl. Maybe the Bender debacle has cast a poor light on all “project big men” in my mind, I don’t know.
    Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad that Earl Barron played up to his name (and did not bring his “knave” game) but 7 games of garbage-time games (and aren’t all Knick games really garbage time?) does not a courtly knight make. And I don’t remember winning many of those games (alas, poor New Yorik!)
    OK I’m stopping.
    But to sum up, I think we can find an adequate replacement in the 2nd round this year for Barron, although if he slips through the free-agent cracks (and don’t you just see that sneaky Kahn swooping in and giving Barron a contract?) I wouldn’t be averse to giving him a modest 1 year contract… see how he plays in meaningful games.

  2. Honestly, from my perspective if those are his gaudy numbers, I’d hate to see what he really brings. His rebounding is through the roof, but the rest of his stats (blk, pts, ts%) are 3rd center worthy. I like his motor, but he should be at the very end of the bench, if at all.

  3. Yeah the people who are actually projecting lineups for next season with Barron as the starting C are nuts. From what I could see he has no post-up game whatsoever and has a pretty hard time finishing around the basket.

  4. At least the Knicks has a back-up center other than Bender for the position that come’s up cheap and actually plays. Better him that Eddy Curry all day.

    Cavs just clobbered the Celts! Am hoping the old warriors of the celts muster whatever gas they have left on the tank and upset the Cavs so that Bron bolts to the Knicks…

  5. Nate had a monster game the other night, 8 points in three minutes, that’s good stuff.
    Then again, the game was over.
    Knicks worked out Bobby Maze and Jimmer Fredette today. I have mixed feelings about Maze, he put Mediocre-pretty good numbers at Tennessee. However, Fredette is going to be the biggest steal of the draft. Kid can play.

  6. Jimmer’s going back to school. Jimmer hurt himself at the Knicks’ workout. Jimmer wants to spend another year at BYU. It’s not just b/c of the attractive Mormon gals, Jimmer wants a first-round guarantee and Jimmer wasn’t getting that this year.

    Guess only one of those left is Lance Stephenson.

  8. Utah just had a brutal loss!

    Down a point with the ball and 4 seconds left, Deron Williams misses a decent look from about 18 feet, but Wesley Matthews sneaks in past two Lakers to be alone under the basketball with the ball as it bounces off the rim – but, naturally, he was so pumped up that he rushes the tip-in and it rims out, Lakers win.


  9. Jimmer is going back to school? Damnit! Looks like we’re gonna have to try to scoop him up with our/Houston’s pick next year. Unless a better guy is available (maybe Kemba Walker?), then that just sucks.

  10. @8

    Reminiscent of the Courtney Lee fiasco from last year…

  11. Yeah, that’s two games now in the last two years that the Lakers were almost victims of amazing plays, but got lucky both times.

    And they, naturally, won a game with a last second tip-in this year!

    They’re living a blessed life right now.

  12. When Lebron has a “bad” game by his standards, the Cavs have no chance of winning. Im not that critical of his supporting cast because many of them are nice players but they truly are just role players who are totally dependent on Lebron.

    Being able to match him with another “max” FA should really be the #1, 2 and 3 selling points to Lebron from a basketball perspective from the Knicks because he truly has nobody who can do anything to help Lebron out some if he is “struggling” a bit.

  13. Tony Parker is on the trade block this summer according to ESPN Rumor Central. Anybody think…..eh never mind, no valuable assets.

  14. At the very least, Barron can’t be any worse than Michael Doleac. He’s worth a flier as a backup, particularly since his jumper fits on a D’Antoni team.

  15. Barron always had a decent jumper btw, dating back to his years with the Heat. The problem, as was stated by another user, he he lacks any other type of offense.

    His upside is basically a rookie Frye.

  16. I don’t think Barron should have been graded. He played like what 10-15 games tops. Hardly enough to form a real opinion.

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