Matt Barnes reportedly punches player during summer-league game
Lakers forward Matt Barnes punched an opposing player in the face Thursday during a Pro-Am game in San Francisco, reported KGO-TV.
The video below only shows the aftermath of the incident, with Barnes being separated from the action by his coaching staff, but the ABC-affiliated station in San Francisco reported that Barnes' punch toward a player from the opposing team went unnoticed by the officials and that he wasn't ejected. Through a representative, Barnes declined to comment.
This isn't the first time Barnes has had a physical altercation. During last summer's Pro-Am games, Barnes slapped an opposing team's assistant coach after a brief verbal exchange. He also drew a one-game suspension last season for his involvement in an on-court scuffle in a regular-season game against Dallas. In that contest, Barnes shoved Dallas guard Jason Terry after he pushed Lakers guard Steve Blake to the ground. When Dallas assistant Terry Stotts wrapped his arms around Barnes from behind, he pushed aside the Mavericks coach and knocked him onto courtside seats.
Lakers fans initially didn't embrace Barnes' intensity, particularly when Barnes, while with the Orlando Magic, pretended to throw an inbounds pass at Kobe Bryant's face in the 2009-10 season. But the Lakers immediately liked Barnes' physical play when he signed with the team last season. After being only a week removed from successfully completing rehab on his surgically repaired right knee, it apparently didn't take long for Barnes' fiery on-court demeanor to return.
Incidentally, Minnesota forward Michael Beasley was also involved in a summer-league scuffle, in which he shoved a fan after the two had exchanged words during a pickup game in New York City.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Lakers forward Matt Barnes is restrained by a referee and Dallas assistant coach Terry Stotts after getting into an altercation with Mavericks guard Jason Terry in March. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press