Matt Barnes Confirms Slapping Coach Monday Nite

Yesterday I reported that Matt Barnes slapped an assistant coach Monday night during a summer league game in San Francisco. Barnes acknowledged he slapped the coach, Rick Lewis of the SF City Golf Rush, to Sam Amick of AOL Fanhouse Wednesday night.

Matt Barnes slaps assistant coach during summer league game

According to two fans who were at Monday’s championship series opener and spoke to FanHouse, Barnes — who was arguing a call with an official during the third quarter of a contentious game — slapped an assistant coach of the Gold Rush team after a brief verbal exchange. The coach, according to a report on the web site Sports by Brooks, was Rick Lewis.

Having already diffused several “minor tussles,” as one of the fans who spoke to FanHouse said, the officials conferred and assessed double technical fouls and let all involved continue play. Barnes told FanHouse on Wednesday night that the coach’s taunting in his ear caused him to lose his temper but said he should have handled the situation differently.

“Some people do too much or talk too much, and there’s only so much you can take,” said Barnes, who does not expect the coach to pursue a lawsuit. “It’s hard. It’s definitely hard when the refs have it out for you, saying ‘Oh, you’re in the NBA, so you don’t get this (call) and we’re going to call this.’ Then the coach is talking and completely disrespecting me.

“It’s frustrating, but at the same time I’ve got to keep my composure because I’m a professional and I get paid to do this. I lost my professionalism for a little while, but I regained my composure and we won a championship tonight.”

Obviously Barnes isn’t going to come out and say “I SLAPPED HIM!” for legal reasons, but it happened and the fact that he acknowledged a lawsuit as a possibility belies that. Read more…

On The Record Account Of Barnes Slapping Coach

Earlier today I posted about a summer basketball league incident involving Matt Barnes on Monday night. While playing in a game in the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League at Kezar Pavilion, Barnes slapped an assistant coach of the opposing team.

Matt Barnes slaps assistant coach during summer league game

Since my post I’ve learned that Rasheed Malek, the proprietor of the Golden State Warriors-centric site, was at the game in question and witnessed the altercation between Barnes and SF City assistant coach Rick Lewis.

Malek provided me this first person account of what happened:

I was seated directly behind Matt Barnes’ team’s bench, the “Dream Team” and it was around the mid-way point of the 3rd quarter where Barnes was unhappy with a call one of the referees made and started talking to the referee while the opposing team was shooting free throw’s.

Barnes engaged the referee into conversation directly in front of the opposing team’s Head Coach and Assistant Coach. While talking to the referee, Barnes begin to get heckled by SF City assistant head coach, Rick Lewis. Lewis was saying things like “stop your crying, you’re in the NBA, stop crying” and other remarks which were an attempt to antagonize and get under Barnes skin. Read more…