Former UCLA Bruin and new Laker Matt Barnes for some reason has been playing in something called the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League, and earlier this week had quite an incident. Sports By Brooks got a first-hand account of the events, from Rasheed Malek of WarriorsWorld.net:â†µ
Barnes engaged the referee into conversation directly in front of the opposing teamâ€™s Head Coach and Assistant Coach. While talking to the referee, Barnes begin to get heckled by SF City assistant head coach, Rick Lewis. Lewis was saying things like â€œstop your crying, youâ€™re in the NBA, stop cryingâ€ and other remarks which were an attempt to antagonize and get under Barnes skin.â†µ
Barnes finally stepped towards Lewis and got in his face and they exchanged pleasantries, Barnes walked away but Lewis was still chirping so Barnes came back and got in his face at which point Barnes gave Lewis a slap on the face.â†µ
Now, it was more of a â€œlovetapâ€ than anything malicious, he didnâ€™t wind up or put force behind it. Soon as it happened, the refereeâ€™s came over, Barnes coaching staff ran over and the situation kind of fizzled itself out.â†µ
Amazingly, Barnes wasn’t even ejected from the game. Sometimes a little bit of crazy is good. The Lakers saw that first hand last season, as Ron Artest helped them win a title, then unleashed one of the greatest postgame interviews of all-time. Somehow I don’t see Barnes slapping Erik Spoelstra of the Heat, but that would certainly provide quite a Christmas Day memory.