Matt Barnes Defends Shabazz Muhammad's Actions at NBA Rookie Transition Program

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2013

Matt Barnes is not a fan of the hype Shabazz Muhammad's Rookie Transition Program exodus is generating.

According to USA Today's Jeff Zillgittthe Minnesota Timberwolves rookie was sent home for violating one of the rules by bringing a female guest back to his hotel room in New Jersey.

An uproar of sorts has since followed, and Barnes isn't happy about it.

The Los Angeles Clippers swingman took to Twitter to defend Muhammad, saying that his dismissal from the program was "BS," among other things.

Barnes' reaction is totally understandable in many respects. Bringing a girl back to a hotel room isn't the end of the world, and there are other athletes (and people in general) who have done far worse.

My problem is with the sweeping generalizations he's making, essentially accusing media outlets of blowing this out of proportion.

To any who have blacklisted Muhammad as a result of this or used this mistake as a means to write him off or define his NBA career before it has even started: Yes, you're making too much out of this situation. 

Not everyone is doing that, though. And as far as Muhammad's "bad wrap" is concerned, he did it to himself. Those who have taken this opportunity to exaggerate the circumstances and end result are being unfair.

It's not like Muhammad wasn't aware of the rules.

Per Zillgitt, he was provided with a set of guidelines a few hours before he was sent home, one of which mandated there could be no guests—male or female—unless approved by program administrators.

Whether he agreed with the restrictions imposed upon him and his fellow rookies isn't the point. This is all a part of his job.

Still, Barnes was undeniably justified in his assertion that there are bigger issues to deal with, which is why the early stages of Muhammad's career shouldn't be permanently marred by this one event.

Controversy has swallowed him up before, but not even the age issues are cause enough for you, me or anyone else to form an everlasting impression.

What Muhammad did was wrong, so he was punished accordingly. Now it's time to move on.