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NBA Says Matt Barnes Wasn’t Fined For Exchange With Suns Owner

After Matt Barnes sounded off on Twitter yesterday, blaming a comment by Suns owner Robert Sarver for the $25,000 fine the NBA assessed him for mouthing off to a fan during Sunday’s 120-100 Clippers win in Phoenix, an unnamed NBA source confirmed to ESPN.com “it was not an interaction with the Suns owner” that led to the fine. Instead, the expensive penalty stemmed from Barnes’ interaction with another Suns fan. Barnes elaborated on his Twitter diatribe before the Clippers face the Jazz tonight in Salt Lake City.

Below is the chronological order of Barnes’ tweets from yesterday, culminating in his joking suggestion he get a second day job at Costco:

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Here’s what Barnes said today during LA’s shootaround:

“I was talking to a 13-year-old boy and his dad,” Barnes said. “We were kind of going back and forth and there were two guys behind them that were heckling me the whole game. I was laughing and messing with them. I had a bad game shooting and they were just on me. I said something to the little boy because someone said you were fined $25,000, and I was like, ‘That was a lot of money, huh?’ And he looked at me and smiled. Then the owner [Sarver] said what he said, and I responded. You can ask him what he said. He said enough to make me respond. We don’t like each other. He didn’t like me when I was there and I didn’t like him when I was there, so it is what it is.”

The Clippers small forward added that he had an antagonistic relationship with Sarver back when he played for the Suns during the 2008-09 season:

“He’s said some stuff about me before that fueled a few of my old teammates that were there from the Clippers,” Barnes said. “I’ve never liked him and as soon as he said that to me, it got me going, but if players are held to a high standard, owners should be held to an even higher standard.

“I’m not even blaming him. If you’re going to say something like that to me, expect me to respond, but don’t go run and tell when I do go say something.”

Barnes has a history of venting on Twitter, and he’s got no problem publicly criticizing NBA policy, even when it doesn’t directly affect him.

We’re guessing this isn’t the last time Barnes receives a paycheck punishment, or tweets something incendiary.

What did Sarver say to Barnes to set him off?

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