Matt Barnes is a perfect fit with the Memphis Grizzlies, who he signed with this summer, even if we’re already snoozing at the tired “true grit” refrains surrounding the player and the team. But while Barnes is moving to Memphis, he’s still got a lot of friends back in Los Angeles, including this summer’s free-agency fiasco, DeAndre Jordan.
Barnes and DJ are tight, as anyone who has looked at either’s Instagram knows. Together with Blake Griffin, the three amigos formed a tight-knit group within the Clippers team. But Barnes is so intense, after he signed with the Grizzlies he wanted his old buddy to know he wasn’t going to ease off him just because they’re friends off the court.
By way of the Los Angeles Times, comes Barnes’ jocular threat to his old Clippers teammate:
Matt Barnes recently spent a few days with former Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan to celebrate Jordan’s 27th birthday, and it wasn’t all backslaps and best-wishes.
Barnes made sure to warn Jordan that things could change between them in the flicker of a cake candle now that Barnes plays for the Memphis Grizzlies.
“I told him, ‘Even though we’re good friends, I’m still going to foul the beep out of you when we play,’ ” Barnes recalled Tuesday during his introductory news conference in Memphis. “That’s just the kind of player I am. There’s no hard feelings.”
Barnes seems to have a solid grasp of the line between adversary and ally even when some people who are close to him do not.
“Basically coming from the enemy and now they’re the enemy,” Barnes said of the Clippers, “my kids are a little confused still. I have twin boys and they’re just like, ‘So, Daddy, do you not like DeAndre, Chris [Paul] and Blake [Griffin] no more?’ And I’m like, ‘No, they’re still my friends, it’s just they’re my enemy when the ball goes up.’ “
This is what a role player like Barnes needs to get up for a contest. He might not be as physically gifted as some of his NBA peers, and certainly not on the Clippers, but the intensity is certainly there. Just ask Kobe.