Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes was kicked out of Wednesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder for getting into an altercation with the opposing forward, Serge Ibaka. After he was benched, Barnes took to the internet to vent his anger while the match was still in progress.
Barnes posted a tweet during the third quarter saying, “I love my teammates like family, but I’m done standing up for these n****s! All this s*** does is cost me money!”
This is not the first time Barnes has displayed offensive or even violent behavior. Barnes has been fined multiple times and suspended from games four times in the last five years alone.
This is also not the first time Barnes has had an on-court fight with Serge Ibaka. Last season, Ibaka struck Barnes below the belt, but the two were separated before Barnes could manage to retaliate. Ibaka wasn’t kicked out of the game, but was later fined. So could it be that Barnes was just waiting to retaliate? It’s extremely possible.
The original fight had absolutely nothing to do with Barnes. It began as a small skirmish when Ibaka blocked Clippers player Blake Griffin’s attempt at a two-point shot. After cleanly smacking the ball, Ibaka came down from the jump only to find his right arm tangled in Griffin’s. After a few seconds of heated struggling, Ibaka managed to free his arm and Griffin stumbled back a few steps. An unprovoked and unrelated Matt Barnes then shoved Ibaka hard in the chest. Ibaka immediately flared up and went to retaliate, but the two were separated and benched.
However, there was no legitimate reason to bench Ibaka. He never even touched Barnes, and the incident with Griffin was clearly unintentional. If anyone had any right to be furious, it was him, not Barnes. At most, Ibaka’s action should have been considered a foul, and even that seems more than a little unfair.
Barnes, however, completely deserved to be ejected from the game. There was no aggression directed toward him, so why get involved? To defend his teammate, a grown man who is completely capable of fighting his own battles? Even if this had been his intention, which is absolutely a ridiculous excuse, in what world would he have the right to whine about getting kicked out of a game after attacking another player? The only logical explanation for Barnes’ actions is that he was looking for an excuse to touch Ibaka, whose facial expression clearly revealed that he had no idea why he was being attacked to begin with.
To add insult to injury, the Clippers player actually directed his anger toward his teammates, who did nothing more than stop the fight. It seems as if Barnes was looking for anyone to place the blame on but himself. He should have been tweeting an apology for almost losing his team the game with his impulsive violence. Instead, he used racial slurs to back up unfounded anger.
Barnes’ tweet was later deleted, but nowhere near fast enough. It managed to catch the attention of Clippers coaches, his teammates, and the NBA officials who moderate player behavior. Barnes was fined $25,000 and forced to apologize, but instead of a proper apology, he tweeted his sorries to the masses.
An Editorial by: Hend Salah