Richard "Dick" Barnett (born October 2, 1936) is an American former professional basketball player. He spent 14 seasons in the NBA (1959–73), but is mostly known for his nine seasons with the New York Knicks. Barnett played in the 1968 NBA All-Star Game and was a member of the 1970 Knicks team that won the NBA championship against the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored 15,358 regular season points in his career.
== Playing career ==
A three-time All-America player at Tennessee A & I (now Tennessee State University), Barnett led his team to three consecutive NAIA national championships for Hall of Fame Coach John McLendon. Barnett was named championship MVP in 1958 and 1959.
The top draft choice of the Syracuse Nationals (now the Philadelphia 76ers) of the NBA, Barnett played with the team until 1961, when he jumped ship from the NBA to play in the American Basketball League (ABL) with the Cleveland Pipers, who were owned by George Steinbrenner, the future owner of the New York Yankees. Barnett led them to an ABL Championship in the 1961-62 season. He then returned to the NBA to play with the Los Angeles Lakers for three seasons (legendary Laker announcer Chick Hearn nicknamed him "Fall Back Baby") and played on two NBA championship teams with the New York Knicks in 1969-70 and 1972-73.
(Tennessee State University ) retired Richard "Dick the Skull" Barnett's Jersey in 2006.
Barnett's most recognizable playing feature was the way he kicked both legs back as he took his jump shot.〔Leggett, William. "A New Knick With A Knack," Sports Illustrated, January 17, 1966 (see external link below).〕 In April 2007, both he and his college coach John McClendon were inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.〔(Dick Barnett and coach John Mclendon inductee selections for College Basketball HOF )〕
Barnett is also inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.〔(Tennessee Sports HOF inductee Dick Barnett at TSHF website )〕
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