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Exit interviews: Matt Barnes declines to reveal whether he'll opt out of his contract

May 11, 2011 |  2:32 pm


Matt Barnes exit interview

Lakers forward Matt Barnes acknowledged that he "knows what we're going to do" regarding whether he exercises an $1.91-million option to stay in L.A next season, but he declined to reveal what that move would be.

"That's already been discussed with the people that need to know about that," Barnes said. "As of right now, we'll keep that to ourselves."

Barnes, who's been on eight teams in his eight-year career, has often mentioned his desire for stability and told The Times' Mike Bresnahan that he is "comfortable" exercising his option to stay with the Lakers next season.

"I want to win," Barnes said. "I still feel this is the best team in the NBA."

Barnes also addressed other matter during his exit interview:

-- Regarding his knee injury, he said, "That was probably the hardest thing I've ever been through to find an opportunity to play for a championship organization with a legitimate chance to win a championship. The season started off so well. To tear my knee up, I never got back in the flow of the game. Once I returned, I just never really was comfortable. I never got back in the rotation, so to speak. I'm still beating myself up about that."

-- Talking about the effect the injury had on his game, he said, "My game is energy, getting up and down. I just wasn't able to do that effectively."

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Matt Barnes. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times