Matt Barnes Says He Faked Ball at Kobe Bryant on Infamous Play

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2018

Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes (22) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 3,  in Denver. The Kings won 120-113. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Don't let the overhead angle deceive you: Matt Barnes did, in fact, fake the ball directly at Kobe Bryant's face on the infamous inbounds play that has been a staple of NBA meme culture for years.

At least, that's what Barnes says.  

"As far as I know, that s--t went in his face and he didn't flinch," the former NBA swingman told TMZ Sports on Wednesday. "I thought that was a dead story." (Warning: video contains profanity.) 

The clip, which is firmly rooted in NBA Twitter lore, became the talk of social media again on Tuesday after The Action Network's Rob Perez relayed an overhead shot of the play that appeared to show Kobe standing to Barnes' side and not directly in front of him: 

Rob Perez @World_Wide_Wob

@treykerby He wasnt standing in front of him when he did it my whole life is a lie https://t.co/8pGF2IRAjQ

But now that we've heard from Barnes, the mystery appears to be over.