The punishment was handed down on Matt Barnes Monday, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports. The Memphis Grizzlies’ forward was suspended by the NBA for two games for his part in an altercation involving New York Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher back in October. Barnes will miss Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat and Saturday’s contest in Utah against the Jazz. Fisher received no punishment, and the case is considered closed by the league.
The altercation involving the former teammates turned physical when Matt Barnes confronted Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes became increasingly concerned over the well-being of his children who were texting and FaceTiming with Barnes while at Govan’s home. When Barnes arrived, the two argued, and Barnes punched Fisher in the face, according to an initial report from TMZ.
Barnes makes his home in Redondo Beach, California, which is roughly 15 minutes away from Govan and his children in Los Angeles. However, Barnes was at the Grizzlies training camp in Santa Barbara at the time and drove the near-100 mile trek where Govan was hosting a party. No charges were filed despite a police presence shortly after the incident took place. Fisher missed the Knicks team practice two days later, citing personal reasons, but did return the following day, exonerated from any wrongdoing by the club.
The New York Post initially reported that upon hearing from his 6-year-old twin sons that Fisher was at the party, Matt Barnes rushed to the scene to “beat the s— out of him.” According to the report, Barnes texted a friend that he assaulted Fisher and added insult to injury with a shot at Basketball Wives: LA star Govan.
The text read, “I kicked his a– from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face.”
As mentioned, Matt Barnes and Derek Fisher were teammates. The two spent two seasons together with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2010-12. Both departed the team following the 2011-12 season, with Fisher opting for Oklahoma City to play for the Thunder, while Barnes remained in L.A., this time to play for the Clippers. Barnes experienced stability for the first time in his career, as the three seasons with the Clippers represented his longest stint with one team during his 12-year career. His current team, the Grizzlies, mark the ninth different team Barnes has suited up for after Memphis originally drafted him in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft. Fisher played in the NBA for 18 seasons before being named as the head coach of the Knicks in June 2014.
Besides sharing a bond as teammates, Matt Barnes and Derek Fisher share the commonality of filing for divorce in the same year. Barnes filed in January of 2015, while Fisher did so in March from his wife Candace. The two have four children together and separated shortly after celebrating their 10th anniversary together. Gloria Govan, 29, was 12-years-old when she first met Barnes. The two began dating in 2006 and wed in 2012.
Not a stranger to punishment, Matt Barnes was arrested in 2012 for allegedly threatening a police officer. Prior to that, he was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of felony domestic violence against his then-fiancee Govan. That charge was later dropped, however, when she denied any abuse took place. Just this season alone, Barnes has been fined a total of $100,000 in three separate incidents involving Barnes trash-talking fans using explicit language. One of the fans turned out to be James Harden’s mother, and another was actually the owner of the Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver. Barnes has started 12 of the 33 games he’s played in this season, averaging 8.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
[Photo by Brandon Dill/AP]