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Lakers Fan Q&A: Matt Barnes on abstaining from trash talk on Jason Terry, explains his contentious play last season with Kobe Bryant and contends the 'Killer Bees' will improve

April 19, 2011 |  7:59 am

A split second decision that Matt Barnes said wasn't premeditated immediately defined who he is to Laker fans.

A regular-season game last year with the Orlando Magic featured Barnes pretending to throw an inbounds pass to Kobe Bryant, who didn't flinch for one second. That move, along with Barnes' general chippiness that he hoped would give him a "mental edge" against who he considers "the best player in the world" in Bryant, sparked plenty of upset Laker fans sharing their grievances to him. Even when he signed a two-year deal worth $3.6 million this offseason with the Lakers, he still met some skepticism from fans who couldn't forgive him for his aggressive play against Bryant. Slowly but surely, Barnes has noticed the tide shift, noticing fans showing appreciation for standing up for Steve Blake when Dallas guard Jason Terry pushed him out of bounds, bringing instant toughness to the Lakers' bench.

"I think the misconception of who I am is that I'm trying to start trouble and fight," Barnes said in a recent sitdown interview with The Times. "It's nothing like that. I play hard every single possession. "I have a football players mentality. I love to mix it up and play physical. I don't back down from a confrontation. I always have my teammates' back. I look at teams as a family. If you have a problem with someone on my team, I'm definitely going to help that out."

Meanwhile some of those fans that talked trash to Barnes are now asking him questions via Twitter. He gets plenty of questions, ranging from his relationship status (he's engaged to reality T.V. star Gloria Glovan), to his two sons (Isaiah Michael and Carter Kelly) and on Lakers' overall play. I delivered some of those fan questions directly to Barnes, who talked about a wide-collection of topics, including Terry, his altercation last season with Bryant and what the "Killer B's" in Barnes, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown need to do to improve their consistency off the bench.

--Mark Medina

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