BARNES DISCUSSES TWEET, FINE
PLAYA VISTA – Prior to Friday morning’s practice, Clippers forward Matt Barnes discussed his altercation with Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka from Wednesday’s game and the subsequent fine that he was assessed the following day.
Barnes was fined $25,000 by the NBA for failing to leave the court in a timely manner upon his ejection and using inappropriate language on his Twitter account during the game following his ejection, a violation of NBA rules.
Barnes and Ibaka were ejected for an on-court incident late in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 111-103 win over the Thunder Wednesday. Ibaka became tied up with Blake Griffin and threw Griffin aside after which Barnes shoved Ibaka in the chest. Both Barnes and Ibaka were ejected.
Shortly after reaching the locker room Barnes sent out a Tweet, which was later deleted, that became a polarizing topic of discussion amongst the media in the day that followed.
“I apologized to my teammates,” Barnes said Friday, “because I think, obviously, the Tweet was bad timing, a bad choice of words, and most importantly it took away from the tremendous comeback they made in beating one of the best teams in the league.”
Barnes, who returned to the lineup Monday after a three-game absence due to a right thigh contusion, has long been known as one of the feistiest players in the league. He said frustration and past incidents between the Clippers and Ibaka caused him to let emotion get the best of him.
“I did it out of emotion which was the wrong thing to do,” Barnes said. “Emotion takes over and you do things and say things you don’t mean.”
Head coach Doc Rivers said he addressed the incident with Barnes and the rest of the team and doesn’t expect it to have any carryover affect heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.
“The team loves Matt and he loves the team,” Rivers said. “This is a very close-knit group. I don’t think any of us took it [the wrong] way.”
Blake Griffin added, “Matt knows that we have his back. We’re going to move on. It’s not something we’re going to dwell on. We’ve got games to win.”
The Clippers did not practice Thursday, but Barnes said players reached out to him to show their collective support.
“My teammates as soon as the game was over I got calls from about eight or nine of them and texts from the rest of them,” Barnes said. “Everybody on this team is tight and united. What I said, some people tried to make it a dividing factor.”