Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes has been fined $35,000 for his comments about New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher this week.
"Matt Barnes' comments condoning violence do not reflect who we are as a league or the character of our players," NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe said in a statement. "His words are unacceptable and entirely inconsistent with the core principles of this game and the NBA."
Barnes, who served a two-game suspension earlier this season for an off-court altercation with Fisher, offered choice comments on the Knicks coach prior to Saturday's game between the two teams.
"Every man who looks at the situation knows what’s right and wrong," Barnes said, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. "Violence is never the answer, but sometimes it is. And unfortunately, it happened. I don’t regret it. Like, man to man knows who’s wrong and who’s right. The NBA decided to step in and did what they did. But it is what it is."
While the full details of the altercation are still unknown, Barnes has admitted to a physical altercation with Fisher at the home of his estranged wife in October.
He told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne he went to the home due to concern about the safety of his sons, who had spoken to him on FaceTime earlier in the evening. When Barnes arrived at the home, the situation escalated to the point where the police were called to the scene. No charges were filed.
"I just don’t like him, plain and simple. He knows I don’t like him," Barnes said, via Begley. "Don’t say nothing to me, I don’t plan on saying nothing to him. Don’t try to shake my hand. There’s none of that. There’s nothing there. There never will be. Just stay away from me basically."
Fisher has largely kept quiet on the incident and refused to answer questions before the Knicks' 103-95 loss.
“Look man, we’re here to play basketball. This is a basketball game. This is not about me or what happened,” Fisher said, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “This is about the game. So if you guys have some basketball questions, that’s what I’m here for. I’ve answered all these questions plenty of times. There’s nothing to talk about. Decisions have been made. I say we move on.”
Barnes came off the bench in the Memphis win, scoring two points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing five assists. He missed all three of his shots, but the Grizzlies outscored the Knicks by 13 points when he was on the floor.
With Barnes now inching toward the $100,000 mark in league payments ($64,000 in game salary and a $35,000 fine), it might be best for his wallet and the Grizzlies if he moves on here.
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