Matt Barnes has had a roller-coaster of a career in the NBA. After getting drafted in the second round coming out of UCLA, Barnes couldn’t even make an NBA roster and has bounced around on seven different teams in his seven year career. However, despite the fact that his numbers won’t amaze anybody and most of his work can’t be measured in a box score, Barnes has carved out a nice little niche for himself and continues to prove himself as a valuable asset. This past year he spent time in Orlando and brought a toughness and an attitude to the defensive end of the floor for the Magic that they didn’t have before he arrived. If you don’t believe me, just ask a guy like Kobe Bryant. Barnes had to battle Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony, and some of the top perimeter scorers in the NBA and never backed down from any of them. His fight, his toughness, and his competitiveness are traits that I admire in him. He might not be able to go out and drop 20 points per game, but the one thing that you know about Matt Barnes is that he will give 100 percent every time he takes the court. For the second straight season Matt Barnes is a free agent and any team that is looking for a tough, physical, and at times nasty defender that can be added to championship contender should take a look at the often overlooked Matt Barnes.
Matt Barnes joined KHTK in Sacramento to talk about being a free agent again this year, what teams he has had contact with, and how he feels about LeBron James going to Miami.
On how many teams he has talked to this offseason:
“We’ve been talking to a few teams. Orlando, Miami, the Lakers, and Dallas and it’s always kinda been my thing where I have to wait around and see. I had a pretty solid year this year in Orlando, but our franchise in Orlando, anything less than a championship is a failure, which is something very respectable and I enjoy playing for. The season didn’t necessarily go as planned. I opted out of my contract this year with the thinking that next year’s Collective Bargaining Agreement is going to knock salaries down. I was hoping to get something done this summer. Right now we’re talking to a few teams and we’ll wait and see where we go.”
On his relationship with Kobe Bryant:
“Kobe and I are actually friends. I’ve known Kobe since I was at UCLA. He’s just the ultimate competitor and I’m a very hard-nosed competitor and I don’t really take too much from anybody. It was just the heat of the game and there were no hard feelings after the game.”
On what he thinks of LeBron James’ decision:
“I think LeBron is allowed to do what he feels. I know it’s hard for Cleveland fans to lose him but you have to look at the positives. He put the team back on the map, he boosted their economy, and I know he did wonders for what the team is worth now. I’m sure it was hard losing a hometown guy like that but in this game, this is a very cold business. Case in point right there once LeBron was gone everyone in Cleveland hates him now. You really have to do what’s best for you and your family and as a player I wish him the best. They built a three headed monster in Miami and they’re gonna be tough to handle if they can get their chemistry together.”