Matt Barnes isn’t the easiest player to like.
He’s seemingly always the center of a scuffle, yelling at an opposing player, fans, even an owner. And if Barnes didn’t start the issue, he’s usually the one finishing it. Some see him as a dirty player, others view him as a guy who talks better than he plays. It’s probably safe to say that, as beloved of a teammate as he is, there are more people who don’t like Barnes than do.
But that’s just fine with Barnes. In fact, he’s motivated by the hatred. He even has a plan for all of those haters, should he ever win a ring. As he tells Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated:
Barnes is so grateful for your disrespect that he even has a gesture planned. “If I ever win a ring, I’m going to get it sized for my middle finger,” he says. “To thank all the people who doubted me, because you guys are what drove me to my ultimate goal.”
We are often prone to hyperbole in sports, but I think it’s safe to say that this is the best planned comeback ever. Barnes still has to actually win a ring, something he has a very real chance to do this year with the Clippers, but at least he already has this part planned. It’s still not easy to like Matt Barnes, but this made it that much easier to root for him.