Marvin Barnes, arguably the greatest player in the history of college basketball in the state of Rhode Island, passed away, according to a report from the Providence Journal.
In three years playing for the Friars, Barnes averaged 20.9 points and 17.9 rebounds. He was a star in his two seasons with the St. Louis Spirits of the ABA, but his NBA career was cut short due to some of his off-the-court shortcomings.
Barnes went to prison three different times in three different states and spent parts of his adult life homeless. He robbed a bus in his native Providence as a high school basketball star while wear a letterman’s jacket with his name on it. He assaulted a Providence teammate with a tire iron, a crime that put him on probation and forced him into a five-month prison sentence when he tried to carry a gun onto a plane. He did 13 months in prison in California for stealing porn videos to sell for money to feed his addiction.
Barnes was also one of the most eccentric players in basketball. In one infamous incident, Barnes checked the itinerary for a flight leaving Louisville at 8 p.m. local time and landing in St. Louis at 7:56 p.m. local time. He told the team to cancel his ticket and rented a car because, as Barnes put it, he “ain’t getting on no time machine”. That spawned the name for this band.
Barnes was an all-american for the Friars and led them to the 1973 Final Four. Providence retired Barnes’ jersey in 2008.