“Loose lips sink ships.”
That’s exactly what it boils down to for Los Angeles Clippers’ small forward Matt Barnes. It’s also the connotation that cost him $25,000 on Thursday as he was fined by the NBA for failure to leave the court in a timely manner after being ejected from the game. However, the crux of the problem was derived from his Twitter timeline. The imposed fine was also a result of the inappropriate comments he posted on Twitter.
For those who aren’t following Barnes on the social media network, he definitely managed to stir things up this week. His timeline went under fire on Wednesday night following a controversial tweet that he posted during the third quarter of the Clippers-Thunder game.
Barnes, along with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka were both ejected from the game with just 6.2 seconds remaining in the second quarter. According to ESPN, Ibaka and Clippers’ power forward Blake Griffin became physically entangled while Griffin was attempting to shoot the ball. It appeared as though Ibaka pushed Griffin. In turn, Barnes forcefully shoved Ibaka in the chest. The small altercation escalated as Ibaka drew back his fist to swing at Barnes. Players from both teams had to restrain the two players to diffuse the situation. Ultimately, Griffin was the one who received the technical foul.
Following the incident, Barnes decided to express his disdain. So, he went took to Twitter to share his sentiments with fans. The LA Times reports that Barnes tweeted, “I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these n—as! All this s— does is cost me money….” However, the tweet was deleted shortly after.
On Thursday, Barnes tweeted again apologizing for the rant. His full apology spanned over seven tweets.
While Barnes’ actions were frowned upon by NBA officials, Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers took a moment to address the tweets after the game. “I think he’s very emotional and down that he got thrown out,” said Rivers. “I get that part, but the choice of words, obviously that’s not a word I’m a fan of in all venues.”
Barnes’ teammates also addressed the situation, coming to his defense following the Clippers’ 111-103 win. “One of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” said Chris Paul. “Matt has a big heart. He goes out there and competes every night. Not scared of nothing.”
Clippers’ shooting guard and small forward, Jared Dudley, shared his opinion as well. “He’s a really tough guy, and sometimes he wants that from everybody. It goes both ways,” Dudley said of Barnes. We’ve got to be a little bit tougher, and he’s got to be a little bit smarter.”