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This time the News is good
John Papanek
October 24, 1977
Happy but stepping warily, Detroit's Marvin Barnes gets out of the slammer
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October 24, 1977

This Time The News Is Good

Happy but stepping warily, Detroit's Marvin Barnes gets out of the slammer

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"No, Ralph, but I think I'll go. It's a great way to get national publicity."

Barnes played 12 minutes against Buffalo, scoring four points. Afterward he seemed a bit more like himself. "Man, I been locked up five months," he said. "Flew all day, press conference this afternoon. Twenty-four hours ago I was in jail. Oh, my goodness, what a difference from jail. Those inmates play rough. We didn't have no indoor court. Plus, the baskets there are 12 feet high almost."

"Twelve feet high?" A teammate did not believe it.

"Well...about 11 feet high. It's a prison yard, you know—what you want?...Surrounded by prison walls...."

He stopped. Looked around. Maybe for the first time in five months he realized just how lucky he was. "It wasn't nothin' like this.... Nothin' like this."

Reporters had more questions: "Will you ever be a player again?" "Will you stay out of trouble now, Marvin?"

News looked like a child who had felt the paddle and was trying as hard as he could to be good. "I'm not sayin' nothin'. I'm not doin' nothin'.... Not for a while.... Then I'm gonna explode."

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