Matt Barnes Suspended: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2016

Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Joerger holds back Matt Barnes (22) after a double technical was called on Joerger and Milwaukee Bucks' John Henson during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 17, 2016, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 96-86. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

The NBA suspended Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes one game Saturday for his role in an incident involving Milwaukee Bucks big man John Henson on Thursday.

Dan Woike of the Orange County Register provided the announcement:

The Grizzlies play the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Near the tail end of Memphis' 96-86 loss to Milwaukee, Henson blocked Barnes, and he was subsequently ejected for taunting. After getting ejected himself, Barnes then chased the former North Carolina standout toward the locker room, as seen in this video:

Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times reported that both players were escorted from the building by security so the situation didn't escalate any further.

Barnes denied intentionally following Henson into the locker room, per Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

I got led into the wrong room, so once I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, I left and went into my locker room. ...

Maybe he was just scared. I don’t know why he was waiting. The situation happened on the court. He didn’t want it to spill over, I didn’t want it to spill over and they beat us.

For Barnes, it was the latest incident in what has been a tumultuous 2015-16 season for him thus far.

The 36-year-old veteran was previously suspended two games in December for his involvement in an October altercation with former New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher.

That incident came about when Barnes found out that Fisher was at the home of his ex-wife, Gloria Govan, after receiving a text from one of his sons. The situation reportedly became physical, per, which led to Barnes' ban.

Barnes tends to wear his heart on his sleeve both on and off the court, and it got him into trouble once again in Thursday's contest.

While the former UCLA standout isn't a superstar, he has been an important player for the Grizz this season, which makes losing him for any period of time a difficult obstacle for Memphis to overcome.

The Grizzlies are in fifth in the Western Conference. They've been ravaged by injuries, though, including one of the season-ending variety to center Marc Gasol and one that has kept point guard Mike Conley on the shelf.

Making the postseason isn't much of a concern given the cushion the Grizzlies have currently, but remaining in the top six is vital since falling to seventh or eighth would mean a first-round matchup with the San Antonio Spurs or Golden State Warriors.

While Barnes' emotional style of play is a big part of what makes him effective, Memphis may need him to tone it down a bit in the latter stages of the season to avoid any additional discipline.

Barnes is one of the players who helps the Grizzlies set the tone with physical, gritty play, and he'll be needed as the games get more vital.


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