Two days after he was ejected from the Memphis Grizzlies' 96-86 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center following an altercation with Bucks center John Henson, veteran swingman Matt Barnes denied reports that he tried to enter the visitors locker room to confront the big man.
"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," Barnes said Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times' Ben Bolch.
Although video of the incident shows Barnes heading down the same tunnel as Henson, Bolch reported the the 36-year-old said "he was led astray by a worker at the arena."
Thursday night, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times cited "several sources" who said "Barnes entered Bucks locker room after game looking for Henson." Woelfel also reported Barnes and Henson were escorted out of the arena separately "by a spate of security guards."
"Maybe he was just scared," Barnes said of Henson waiting to leave, according to Bolch. "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."
Bolch added that Barnes has discussed the incident with NBA officials "and hoped to be able to play" Saturday evening against his former team, the Los Angeles Clippers.
However, that won't be the case.
According to the Orange County Register's Dan Woike, the NBA announced a one-game suspension for Barnes shortly before tipoff Saturday.
Now the Grizzlies are somehow more pressed for depth than they already were.
Not only is center Marc Gasol out for the season after undergoing surgery on his fractured right foot, but the Grizzlies are also currently without Mike Conley (Achilles tendinitis), P.J. Hairston (groin), Jordan Adams (knee), Zach Randolph (knee), Brandan Wright (knee) and Chris Andersen (left shoulder).
Lacking firepower at seemingly every position, the Grizzlies figure to have a hard time keeping pace with Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan and a Clippers offense that enters Saturday's tilt ranked seventh in offensive rating, according to Basketball-Reference.com.