OAKLAND — With Warriors forward Harrison Barnes in a shooting slump heading into Game 7 of the NBA Finals, it was story time with coach Steve Kerr.
Kerr told Barnes of how before he made the winning shot in Game 6 of the Finals that clinched the championship for the Chicago Bulls in 1997, he was struggling himself having missed six straight 3-pointers before the game.
“Me and Coach Kerr were talking about him in ’97 saying he couldn’t throw a shot into the ocean,” Barnes said. “He couldn’t make anything. He felt like he was playing terrible. He only knocked down three threes in the fourth quarter, one of them with five seconds to go. It was like, ‘Oh wow, you’ve been balling all series!'”
Barnes said he would put the past aside after he was 2-for-14 from the field in Game 5 and 0-for-8 in a Game 6 in which he was held scoreless.
“It’s like, whatever you need to do for the next 24 hours to get your mind right for 48 minutes. Just be yourself for 48 minutes. Nothing spectacular. Just be you.”
Asked if it would be easy to flush those two performances mentally, Barnes smiled and said, ” For sure. Because the only way I can go is up from there.”