Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes was ejected Wednesday night during the team’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder for pushing Serge Ibaka and he sent out a profanity-laced, racially charged tweet directed towards his teammates during the third quarter where he implied that he would no longer have their backs.
“I love my teammates like family but I’m DONE standing up for these [expletives]! All this [expletive] does is cost me money,” the tweet read.
Barnes deleted the tweet following the game, but the message likely came through loud and clear to his teammates, fans and–perhaps more importantly–the league, which may be prepared to fine him for sending out the tweet during the game and for cursing towards his teammates using racially charged language.
Barnes and Ibaka were ejected with 6.2 seconds left in the second quarter after Ibaka and Clippers superstar Blake Griffin got tangled up as Griffin tried to put the ball up. It looked as though Ibaka pushed Griffin, so Barnes stood up for his teammate and pushed Ibaka hard in the chest. Barnes began to jaw with him as teammates got between the two men and Ibaka balled his fist as if he was ready to fight. Griffin was assessed a technical foul on the play and both Ibaka and Barnes were tossed.
Ibaka and Griffin have some history, reports ESPN, as Ibaka hit Griffin below the waist in a game last year and the two players had to be separated on the court. Ibaka was fined $25,000 after that incident, but wasn’t ejected from that game or suspended. Wednesday night was a different story as he was tossed from the game.
Griffin had Barnes’ back when addressing the media after the game.
“We appreciate what Matt does for us, and he’s a great teammate,” Griffin said via ESPN. “We’ve got his back, and he’s got ours.”
After Barnes sent out the tweet in the third quarter, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said he understood his frustration, but didn’t condone his racially charged tweet.
“I think he’s very emotional and down that he got thrown out,” Rivers said after the game about Barnes’ outburst via Twitter. “I get that part but the choice of words obviously, that’s not a word I’m a fan of in all venues.”
The Clippers (6-3) hung on to win the game 111-103 and his team came to his defense after the win over the Thunder (5-2).
“One of the best teammates I’ve ever had. Matt has a big heart. He goes out there and competes every night. Not scared of nothing,” said Chris Paul, who hadn’t seen the tweet, according to ESPN.
The two teams play again at Oklahoma City next Thursday, Nov. 21. It will be interesting to see if anything else flares off between the three men involved when they take the court again in a week.
Views – 58