Matt Barnes serves suspension
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes was back on the court with his teammates less than 24 hours after serving a one-game suspension on Friday for escalating an on-court altercation during Thursday's game between the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.
"I was just in the hotel watching the game, it wasn't something I wanted to be doing but I accept full responsibility for my actions and that's what the league handed me," Barnes said. "I knew I was getting something the way things go down these days."
Barnes was ejected from the Lakers' 110-82 victory over the Mavs with 9:23 remaining in the fourth quarter for shoving Mavericks guard Jason Terry after Terry pushed Lakers guard Steve Blake to the floor following a play.
Terry wasn't suspended for pushing Blake but did take a shot at Barnes on Friday when he was a guest on Colin Cowherd's ESPN Radio show.
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"I call Barnes the Charminator," said Terry. "You know what that is? That is a guy that's soft as Charmin' toilet paper. It's not only that he's a Pac-10 guy and he's a [UCLA] Bruin, and so you know we hate those guys -- us [Arizona] Wildcats, we hate Bruins. I don't care who you are. Whenever you don that uniform, I can't stand you, other than Reggie Miller. Barnes, I remember you when you were at Golden State, you're a journeyman. You put on that Laker uniform and you turn into Jerry West, Kareem, and Worthy, and Magic. Those are the real Lakers, not Barnes."
Barnes smiled when he was relayed Terry's comments after practice on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm not worried about what he's talking about," Barnes said. "In Golden State we showed how to beat Dallas. You take it right to their chin and they back down. I don't see that nothing's changed since then so hopefully we see them again."
Barnes played a key role on the 2007 Golden State Warriors team which became the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in a seven-game series in NBA playoff history, when they dismantled the 67-win Mavericks in six games. Barnes had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the deciding sixth game of the series.
While Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he admired Barnes' gesture of standing up for his teammate, he also said he spoke to Barnes about toning it down during the postseason, when playing short-handed in a playoff series would hurt the team.
"Down the stretch I think we showed you're not going to come to our house and push us around," Barnes said, "but for myself and the rest of the team we can't afford to be getting kicked out of the game or giving teams free shots with technical fouls."
If the Mavericks do end up playing the Lakers in the playoffs, Barnes did admit it would be hard not to get into it with Terry if he started talking to him.
"Depending on who it is, yeah," Barnes said when asked if it would be hard to turn the other cheek in the postseason. "For someone that talks a lot like he does, yeah."
Arash Markazi is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com.