Matt Barnes isn’t exactly the league’s bastion of friendship, togetherness, and overall camaraderie. The Memphis Grizzlies forward’s reputation as one of basketball’s premier antagonists was well earned even before this season, when he’s had highly-publicized and utterly indefensible run ins with New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher and Milwaukee Bucks big man John Henson.
But players rarely interact with teammates the way they do foes, and Barnes is a living example of that reality. He’s beloved by hometown locker rooms and fans alike despite his nasty penchant for making the wrong type of headlines with physical play on the court and pointed words off it.
DeAndre Jordan, for instance, is a player who fully appreciated being teammates with Barnes. Why? Believe it or not, Barnes apparently acted as a calming influence on the Los Angeles Clippers big man.
Jordan is fifth in the league with 10 technical fouls – as much as he’s registered as any other year in his career. Barnes’ eight technical fouls, by the way, rank eighth.
Though the 36 year old is now employed by one of their longtime rivals, the Clippers clearly still love him. Ahead of Los Angeles playing in Memphis on Saturday night, Barnes had some typically jocular interactions with his former teammates.
Basketball, remember, is a brotherhood. And for Jordan, having Barnes in his hoops immediate family apparently meant fewer technical fouls – and more money as a result.