Matt Barnes on the Kobe Flinch, 'We Believe' Warriors and Top Quotes of B/R AMA

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 3:  (L-R) Mickael Pietrus #2, Matt Barnes #22, Baron Davis #5 and Stephen Jackson #1 of the Golden State Warriors walk upcourt in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Dallas Mavericks during the 2007 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena on May 3, 2007 in Oakland, California.  The Warriors won 111-86 and won the series 4-2..  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE  (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

Matt Barnes played with and against plenty of ballers during a 14-year NBA career that included stops on the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, but one person in particular stood out when it comes to someone he wants to fight.

"Mo Cheeks," he said when asked who would be a worthy opponent in a fight when he joined Bleacher Report for an AMA session Monday.

"I f--king hate him. F--k Mo. F--k Mo Cheeks if he sees this."

While Cheeks' playing career ended following the 1992-93 campaign and never overlapped with Barnes', he did coach the swingman on the 2005-06 76ers.

Barnes also opened up about his infamous fake pass in Kobe Bryant's face that didn't even make the Lakers legend flinch. He called Bryant the best player he ever played with and the hardest player to guard while also revealing the fake pass was "sporadic" and not planned.

"I thought he was in front, I saw the edit last year," he said. "Who the f--k has time to find something like that. When I put the ball in his face, I put it in his face."

Barnes also said stunning the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA playoffs with the We Believe Warriors was his favorite game he ever played in during his career. He also believes that team would see significant playing time over the current and injured version of the Warriors when asked how many of his teammates would get on the court.

"All of us. We would be the starting 5. No bulls--t. There's no question. That would've been a helluva mix to have that team with the team we had. We would've brought more out of those guys. We all had the Draymond Green mentality. We were ready to fight on and off the court. We were smoking, drinking together every night. Once Jack came to our team."

While the comments about Cheeks, Bryant and the We Believe Warriors stood out, Barnes offered a number of interesting answers during the AMA session.

He called Steven Jackson his funniest teammate, said a mix of PJ Tucker and Patrick Beverley when asked which current player reminds him of himself, and predicted the Clippers will take home the championship this season even though he grew up a Lakers fan who enjoyed watching Magic Johnson.

Elsewhere, he believes Luka Doncic "has a chance to be the best Euro ever and a top 25 player of all time" and said New York Knicks owner James Dolan is the league's "worst owner" and the reason marquee free agents don't join the team in the Big Apple.

Barnes also talked about his work with UCLA in a cannabis research program and thinks marijuana will "hopefully" be legalized in the NBA within two to four years. He stressed "there has to be more research behind it" but noted "I'm helping that process."

It wouldn't be a discussion about basketball without some mention of the historic greats beyond his own interactions with Bryant, and he revealed his all-time starting lineup would be Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal and Stephen Curry.

While the inclusion of Curry may raise an eyebrow or two, Barnes had the opportunity to play with the sharp-shooter and marveled at his work ethic during the AMA. It's also enticing to envision Curry playing alongside the likes of those other four playmakers and taking advantage of all the open space they create as arguably the best three-point shooter in history.

Unfortunately for Golden State, Curry is one of the players sidelined by injury. So is Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and D'Angelo Russell, which has resulted in a 1-5 record and Barnes believing his We Believe Warriors team would "be the starting 5" this year.

Count it as another loss for the current Warriors.


NBA legends turned “All The Smoke” podcast cohosts, Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, join “The Full 48 with Howard Beck” to discuss their new Showtime pod, the most misunderstood guys in the NBA (Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James), the best and worst organizations in the league, load management, and the negative culture of social media.

 

Related

    Build Your NBA Star for $15 💵

    You have to pick one from each category. Put your picks in the comments section 💬

    Tap to see how our writers made this board ⬇️

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Build Your NBA Star for $15 💵

    Bleacher Report NBA Staff
    via Bleacher Report

    The Man Who Will Save the Bulls

    Our writer found clues from Arturas Karnisovas' time with Denver to show how he might turn Chicago around ⬇️

    NBA logo
    NBA

    The Man Who Will Save the Bulls

    Jake Fischer
    via Bleacher Report

    HORSE Players List Revealed 📝

    NBA drops all eight NBA and WNBA stars participating in the HORSE contest starting Sunday at 7pm ET on ESPN 📸

    NBA logo
    NBA

    HORSE Players List Revealed 📝

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Biggest Salary-Cap Problem Every NBA Team

    @EricPincus looks at the big decisions every team needs to solve

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Biggest Salary-Cap Problem Every NBA Team

    Eric Pincus
    via Bleacher Report