The NBA suspended Memphis forward Matt Barnes for two games for an offseason altercation, in which Barnes reportedly drove to Los Angeles to confront Knicks coach Derek Fisher over his relationship with Barnes’s estranged wife. Yesterday, the league announced it has fined Barnes another $35,000, because he just won’t shut up about Fisher.
“Matt Barnes’ comments condoning violence do not reflect who we are as a league or the character of our players,” said NBA VP of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe. “His words are unacceptable and entirely inconsistent with the core principles of this game and the NBA.”
The impetus for this fine appears to be Barnes’s comments after Saturday morning’s shootaround, ahead of the Grizzlies’ game against Fisher and the Knicks. Barnes claimed he’s received support from around the league for his fight with Fisher, and wasn’t apologetic in the least.
“Every man who looks at the situation knows what’s right and wrong. Violence is never the answer, but sometimes it is. And unfortunately, it happened. I don’t regret it.”
The NBA would obviously prefer Barnes never mention this again, or, if he must, at least not recommend physical violence as a course of action. But Barnes’s latest fine wasn’t just for this comment. He says he was contacted by NBA officials on Saturday evening, to discuss that quote as well as a New Year’s Day Instagram post—in which he again discussed Fisher. It read, in part:
Being stuck in the “triangle offense” w my ex & snitch, I mean former teammate & friend.. Who went behind my back, messed w my ex, got caught, got dealt w for being a snake, then ran & told the Police & NBA.. Instead of taken that ass whoopin like a man & kept it moving....!
Barnes, who is currently appealing the two game checks he lost as a result of his suspension, scored two points in Saturday’s win over New York.