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Matt Barnes doesn't need to apologize for altercation

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First came Matt Barnes' owning up to his one-game suspension for his role in an altercation during the Lakers' double-digit victory Thursday over Dallas at Staples Center. Instead of bringing the same toughness and energy, he watched the Lakers' 96-85 victory Friday against the Utah Jazz at the team hotel.

"It wasn't something I wanted to be doing," Barnes said. "But I accept full responsibility for my actions."

Then came Barnes' admission that he knew the NBA would punish him. After Dallas guard Jason Terry shoved Steve Blake to the ground after fouling him in the fourth quarter, Barnes stepped into the fray and pushed Terry. When Dallas assistant Terry Stotts wrapped his arms around Barnes from behind, he pushed aside the Mavericks coach and knocked him onto courtside seats.

"I knew I was getting something the way things go down these days," Barnes said. "I knew for pushing, you get a suspension."

And then came the continuous trash talk toward Terry, who has since hit the airwaves and argued that Barnes is "as soft as Charmin toilet paper."

"I'm not worried about what he's talking about," Barnes said. "In Golden State, we showed how to beat Dallas [in the 2007 NBA playoffs.] You go in there and take it right to their chin and they back down. I don't see anything has changed since then, so hopefully we'll have a chance to see them again."

Nowhere in Barnes' interview after Saturday's practice at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo did he apologize. Instead, Barnes, a co-owner of Elusion Clothing, acknowledged the irony in touting new T-shirts, with one reading "Matt Barnes Will Kill You, If Ron Artest Doesn't First" and the other featuring the "Killah Bees," the nickname bestowed on Barnes, Blake and Shannon Brown, all three of whom interestingly enough drew ejections against Dallas. Barnes acknowledged he'd like to face the Mavericks in the playoffs. And he admitted he plays more physical against certain players, such as Terry.

But that's fine. Barnes doesn't need to apologize for his transgressions because they served a higher purpose. He stood up for Blake, which will forge a tighter bond between the two close teammates. He demonstrated the Lakers' toughness, an ingredient the team will need Sunday against the Denver Nuggets and in the playoffs. And he sent the message to other teams that the Lakers won't back down.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson expressed concern that Barnes needs to keep his emotions in check so that he doesn't draw ejections. That's fine. I thought the same thing when Andrew Bynum drew a two-game suspension for throwing a forearm to airborne Minnesota forward Michael Beasley. But Barnes is a different player. He's long played with that physically aggressive reputation and that role is the reason why the Lakers signed him last offseason.

"Down the stretch we've shown 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 games or giving teams free shots on technical fouls. We need to do that on a controlled manner."

But should the Lakers experience another altercation, Barnes will be right there, supporting his teammates, playing the enforcer role and ensuring the Lakers don't back down. So there's no need for Barnes to apologize for what he did to Terry. He was simply just filling the job description.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: L akers forward Matt Barnes is restrained by Dallas assistant coach Terry Stotts after getting into an altercation with Mavericks guard Jason Terry (not pictured) during Thursday's game at Staples Center Credit: ae C. Hong / Associated Press / March 31, 2011

 
Comments () | Archives (14)

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@LTLF … “Seems to me that Phil is just trying to instill to the team playing hard through 48 minutes of EVERY game. In November or January, sometimes the team will lose focus and let a lead slip away, or they'll get behind and not fight HARD to come back.” Excellent observation, LTLF. Definitely, Friedman quality. One thing you notice about this team is the lack of panic when they get behind. That’s the reward for putting up with Phil letting them work themselves out of jams rather than just calling a time out or making a substitution. Now with the playoffs in sight, he is putting the metal to the petal as you called it and not letting up. Suddenly, my wild homer prediction 24-1 post all-star break and 16-game win streak heading into the playoffs is starting to look pretty good.
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@KOBEMVP888 … Congrats on another Friedman, Kenny. Still not among your best posts for sure but worthy. Blake is really starting to play much better. That lead pass to Pau on the dunk showed what great court vision he has. He saw that play develop like Joe Montana watching Dwight Clark on a linebacker and began the pass before Pau had even passed two Celtics getting back on defense. And the pass to Bynum for the dunk was just perfectly timed. And what can you say about Fish, who must smell the playoffs and is once again headed for the barn. 24-1 PASB record and 16 GWS.
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@RSP… Jacob Tucker’s dunks in the video were among the best I’ve ever seen. I wondered how he did in the actual contest. Well, we haven’t seen a post from puddle for a while so I thought you might be him. I’ll have to think back to who else is missing from action. I also grew up as a Bruin fan, watching the late night replays with Dick Enberg. Bill was the Mickey Mantle of pro basketball in my mind, a great player who might have been the greatest ever had it not been for the injuries.
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@LEWSTERS… Great comments about the Jazz playing thug ball. Jerry Sloan may have retired but the dirty side of the game remains part of Utah’s DNA. Fesenko should have been given a flagrant. The type of hard down swing on a player even when “supposedly” going for the ball can easily injure a player. I personally think it is a ridiculous distinction to say that going for the ball excuses contact that was intended to hurt or punish the player. That’s why I thought it was ironic that many of the critics who thought Drew was to aggressive were really saying hide it by going for the ball.
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@THE SNAKE … “Message to Spurs from the Lakers: Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear.” This has to be the Friedman winner, Snake. Talk about choking.
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@63 FOOTER … What exactly happened with Mamba? I seemed to have missed something. Can you please tell me what happened that has caused you to take this position? Thanks.
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@THE TRIANGULATOR … I hope you are at least still reading this, Mike, and I hope after cooling down, you decide to come back. I’ve always appreciated your posts and how you handled yourself. As someone who also wears their passion on their sleeve, I know how hard it is to sit back when you feel something you love has been disrespected. I understand and agree with why you are angry but don’t give in and leave. Like Phil does with the team, we need to keep playing and work this out, even agree tot disagree if needed. Stay and use your voice; otherwise they win and you and we lose.
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TOM

Congrats to Tex for making it to the Hall. I’m glad the committee got it right!
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6284545

Here’s to you Tex (How lucky can one guy be) ….cue up Dino…

Ain’t that a Kick in the Head
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sTP994tOMk


My concern is that other coaches are going to start trying to provoke the Lakers... leading to ejections and Darth Stern favored suspensions during crucial matches.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Standing up for your teammates is all well and good and is of course commendable. But getting kicked out of games and being suspended is not. Barnes went a little too far and had to pay the consequences. He's not apologizing for going after Terry but he realizes that the extent of his actions could have had repercussions that hurt his team. That's what Matt was apologizing for, IMO. Being tough is great. Being tough AND smart is better.

@MVP888...great job with the Friedman!

@The Triangulator....I hope you will reconsider and continue to post here. Your comments are valued. When good folks such as yourself leave, it creates a void that some troll will be only too happy to fill.

@LRob...

That's GREAT news about Tex! Thanks for posting the link.
Mr. Winters is most deserving.

Tex with the much deserved props...Thanks for the link LRob...Always pleasant to hear from someone on the Rat Pack...

I have been predicting that when AB came back, we would have a double digit winning streak...we came close a couple of times, with two 8 game winning streaks...Well here we are going for #10 tomorrow...I think it's a gimme...everything else I have said has come to fruition...

I have also said that Denver has been playing great under the weather...That Melo trade has made that team better, and at this time Denver has gotten the better of it...

Then again, have the Nuggs played a team like our current squad...I guess we will just have to burst their bubble and put them in their place...

Next...too easy...

[typo] - Denver has been playing great under the 'radar'...lol

Diandra - LMAO excellent pic of the Laker Cat....

I will be a LION one day!!!

Purrrr....

I just saw a commercial for the upcoming reality TV show "Khloe & Lamar."

{Shudder}

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Diandra,

1. That's a class one descecration of a Lakers artifact.

2. I find it utterly mind-boggling that ANYONE would look into those eyes and say, "Awww... THAT'S LOVE!!!!" It's a kind of mental illness. I've seen so many women hold their cat and say, "My kitty loves me!" as the sketched out little monster with reptilian tries to claw its way out of her clutches. Utterly weird. Cats are incapable of love.

Parasite-ridden little monsters.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

hey everyone, what's going on with mamba24? i'm currently in osaka, japan. thank goodness not in narita, japan. this poor country has really suffered a lot. but, getting back to mamba24, can you enlighten me? keep it going L.A.!

Lakeshowinphx....

Mamba 24 is on hiatus, according to MM. M24 has said he needed a break and will return for the playoffs. Stay safe in Japan!

NEWS FLASH, LAKERS JUST KEEP WINNING, LOSERS AN HATERS
KNOW YOUR ROLE, BE COMFORTABLE THATS YOUR STATION IN LIFE


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