Former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Derek Fisher and Matt Barnes allegedly got into an altercation because of Fisher's relationship with Barnes' wife, Gloria Govan.
Although Barnes and Govan are in the process of divorcing, the New York Post's Ian Mohr reported Wednesday that Barnes was livid when he found out Fisher was with his estranged spouse at his former Los Angeles home. This led to a tiff Saturday as described by the Post:
A fight erupted at 11:45 p.m. between the 235-pound Barnes and the 6-1, 200-pound Fisher. Cops were called, but Fisher left before they arrived, the sources said.
Following the dustup, Barnes, 35, texted a pal that he had not only assaulted Fisher, 41, but also took revenge on Govan, one source said.
According to TMZ, Barnes won't be charged in the incident.
On Thursday, ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, citing a source, reported Barnes was in "[Los Angeles and] not Santa Barbara when he learned Fisher was at his house." She added, "Barnes [had] been in Santa Barbara [with] the [Grizzlies]. But he was in L.A. by [the] time he got a call from one of his twins that Fisher was at the house."
Barnes told Shelburne on Thursday he was in Marina del Rey when he got a call from one of his sons:
I'm like, 'first of all, why are you still up? It's like 10 o'clock at night?' So I text back, 'I love you and I miss you, too.' Then I FaceTimed him. I'm just like, 'Hey, what's up buddy?'
Now, Carter is like the rambunctious one. He's always jumping off the walls. And when I saw his face, he was just sitting there and I knew something was wrong. I was like, 'What's wrong, Carter?' and he shook his head, 'No.' Then he lays his head down on the couch, puts a pillow in front of his face and says, 'Mommy's friend Derek is here.'
Barnes continued to discuss getting to Govan's house:
I can't believe people think I was some maniac driving 95 miles and listening to Tupac to go beat somebody up. No. I live 15 minutes away and I was going over to check on my kids because they seemed uncomfortable. That was my main reason for going over there.
"Life happens," Barnes said, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "I'm here to focus on basketball."
Another source indicated Fisher and Govan have been together for a "few months." Someone close to Fisher told Mohr that Barnes' alleged attack resulted in Fisher suffering a few scratches but that the New York Knicks coach would not press charges.
Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski reported Fisher is in fact considering legal action but has yet to file charges. Fisher missed Monday's Knicks practice for personal reasons and had flown to L.A. in the first place on a day off, while Barnes was in Santa Barbara finishing Memphis Grizzlies training camp.
Barnes and Fisher were Lakers teammates for two seasons from 2010 through 2012.
Bleacher Report's Sean Highkin passed along a statement from the Grizzlies on Barnes, which read: "We are aware and currently gathering information regarding today's report involving Matt Barnes. We have no further comment at this time."
Fisher was asked if today's report would impact the way he preaches professionalism, and he issued the following response, per Herring:
As far as that goes, the guys are the ones who ultimately know who I am and what I’m about based on seeing me every day. Players are smart. They notice things very acutely. So if guys feel like when they’re here that I’m not focused, they’ll find that out. But at this point, I don’t think that’s an issue.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary when he recently saw Fisher that would suggest a scuffle:
Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation tweeted a photo of Fisher from Tuesday:
According to Yahoo Sports, Grizzlies and Knicks security are expected to begin jointly investigating Saturday's incident. Beyond the potential litigation that could follow, the next chapter in this purported saga may occur when Barnes and Fisher face each other on the court in 2016.
The Knicks travel to FedExForum to take on the Grizzlies on Saturday, Jan. 16. Barnes' squad will then hit the road to Madison Square Garden in another matchup between the two teams on Friday, Feb. 5.