HoopsHype Matt Barnes rumors

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Philly is also where Barnes learned that it’s a star’s league. At the time, he was the 12th man, clinging to a job. As Barnes tells it, he was working with shooting coach Buzz Braman after practice, hoping to smooth out a hitch in his shot, when Sixers head coach Mo Cheeks walked by. “I don’t see why you’re working on your shot,” Cheeks said. “You’re not going to get to shoot here.” Barnes fumed, but said nothing. Sports Illustrated

A week later, in practice, things came to a head. “I came down on a 3-on-1 and hit pull-up 15-footer off the glass and [Cheeks] stopped practice,” says Barnes. “He yells, ‘What are you doing? What are you shooting the ball for? You know that’s not your job, you gotta pass the ball!’” Barnes was shocked “What? But I made the shot.” Said Cheeks: “That’s why you don’t play.’” And then, Barnes says, he lost it. “I was going to chase him down and whoop his ass, so I took off after him and AI grabbed me and I got through him and Chris [Webber] grabbed me and bearhugged me and I said to Mo, ‘You’re lucky.’” Says Barnes now: “I hated Mo Cheeks. He was a dick.” Sports Illustrated

Serge Ibaka is not on that list. In November of 2013, during a game in LA, Ibaka pushed Blake Griffin as he tried to put up a shot. Barnes raced over, Ibaka cocked a fist, and teammates restrained the pair. Barnes was not impressed. “He just thinks he’s the toughest guy on earth and I don’t see it,” Barnes says. “We can fight on the court or after the game. To me it doesn’t matter. But you’re not going to continue to punch Blake in the balls, or throw elbows, or push me…I’m not having none of that s---. When I put him in his place, not only fans but guys on other teams were happy. They’d be coming up, saying, ‘I hate that f---ing guy.’” Sports Illustrated

One early lesson came from Iverson, his teammate for half a season in Philadelphia. “Allen was the first guy that showed me how NBA players spend money in strip clubs,” Barnes says. “That guy went. HARD. He’d throw so much money, and this was when I was first in the league, that I used to take my foot and scoop the s--- under my chair and either re-throw it or put some in my pocket. He’d throw $30,000, $40,000 every time we went. I’m like, ‘You realize what I can do with this money?’” Sports Illustrated

On the rare occasions when Barnes isn’t feeling his usual energy before a game, he will grab his phone and look through his Twitter mentions. He scrolls past the compliments and wannabe groupies and requests for RTs until he finds what he needs: negativity. “…[you’re an] invisible man on the court, ur a better talker than a player”. “Matt Barnes looks like that deadbeat uncle that buys you alcohol in high school…” “…If only the Clippers had a better starting SF offensively than Matt Barnes…” Sometimes, Barnes clicks on profiles, to see who’s dissing him. Sometimes he responds. Then he seeks out more insults. He admits this is a bit masochistic, but he fears that without sufficient anger he will lose his edge. And, to Barnes, that edge is everything. “That negativity is what keeps that chip on my shoulder, what makes me a dog, what makes me an a--hole on the court.” he says. Sports Illustrated

April 9, 2015 Updates

The tide has turned in Los Angeles. Once considered the No. 1 destination for NBA free agents, the Lakers have struggled in recent years to find marquee players to pair with star Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes, who played alongside Bryant for two seasons with the Lakers, has a theory about his former team’s recent rut. The common misconception is that players cower at the idea of playing with Kobe due to his ultracompetitive nature, says Barnes. But the onus is actually on the front office, Barnes recently told SI.com's Chris Ballard for an upcoming feature story. “The reason people don’t want to go to the Lakers is because of management,” Barnes tells SI.com. “Kobe can be the scapegoat all they want but if you play hard, Kobe likes you. And if you bulls--- around, he doesn’t. It’s plain and simple. He’s not a vocal leader. He just expects you to play as hard as you can every minute on the court, like he does.” Ethan J. Skolnick: Derrick Rose playing tonight, still on roughly 20 minute limit, likely won't play fourth quarter Twitter @EthanJSkolnick

April 2, 2015 Updates

Doc Rivers called it a catalyst moment that brought out the fight in his team. Matt Barnes said that it gave the Clippers more incentive. Paul himself said if Portland might have gone on a run in that fourth quarter the Clippers might have wilted and said, "Alright, y'all can have this one," but never did. Oregonian

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Barnes tweeted that if he had kicked Cleveland superstar LeBron James, the NBA would try to put him in jail, a reference to Barnes' thuggish reputation in the league that he thinks has been held against him. "I might have been making my one phone call to you guys right now," Barnes quipped to reporters. Los Angeles Times

February 27, 2015 Updates

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