Nobody saw this coming. Reports say that Billups, Griffin and point guard Chris Paul were all involved in recruiting Barnes. Barnes also had interest from the Miami Heat and the Lakers. One report says that Barnes had been working out at the Clippers practice facility that last few weeks. Maybe his new team mates liked what they saw and encourage the Clippers to bring him on board.
The Clippers already have 14 players under contract. It seemed like everybody in the front office was taking some time off before training camp was to start. And then, out from nowhere, the shocking announcement that Matt Barnes was joining the Clippers caught everybody by surprise. Many believed if they they did add a 15th player, it would be somebody like Adam Morrison who had already been added to the training camp squad. Not to mention that normally the Clippers don't carry 15 players anyway. Matt was drafted by the Clippers out of UCLA and played in LA his first season. He returned to LA to play for the Lakers the last two seasons.
Matt Barnes is the player that many fans love to hate until he joins your team. Then you love to have him available for Coach to use because he can actually ball. He shot 45% from the field last season and a respectable 33% from the 3. He has shot as high as 50% from the field a couple of years ago for Phoenix. But shooting the 3 is not what he is known for. He is known for playing rock solid D. He is not afraid to get physical, and plays smash mouth in your face Defense. In the current NBA Player Rankings, Matt Barnes is rated the #26 at small forward. By comparison, Caron Butler is #18 and Grant Hill is #38.
Many have speculated that the Clippers have the best locker room in the NBA. They are probably right. But someone might say that maybe we are to nice. To many "sweet" guys with sweet dispositions. Actually Matt Barnes is a good locker room guy. But he has a "bad boy" reputation because he is always trash talking to players, trash talking to fans, and wrecking havoc on the court. I think he actually promotes that rep on purpose. So maybe the Clippers actually need at least one guy with the rep that Barnes carries around on his shoulders.
During the 2010-11 season, Barnes threw a Dallas Mavericks assistant coach to the floor during an in-game skirmish and shoved Blake Griffin to the ground early in the 2011-12 season, earning a flagrant foul. He is not afraid to pick a fight, but he only does it only enough to keep the rep going. How many opposing players are now going take a cheap shot at Blake while he is in the air for a monster slam, with Coach VDN tapping Barnes on the shoulder to go into the game? Getting payback won't be to hard for Barnes, he will find a way. And I expect his first "incident" to happen early in the season, just to send a message. If you go after Blake, your coach better pull you off the floor quick. The MattAttack is coming into the game. If Matt gets a T or gets ejected, so what. Everybody will just throw a few bucks into the secret fund to help pay for his fines. I'm just kidding, right? I will speculate, you decide.
Matt Barnes had 8ppg and 5 rpg last season which is right at his career average. He also started at times for the Lakers and played well most of the time. Also, Matt is a UCLA guy, and JamFan supports all things UCLA. He will not be first on our depth chart, but for the vets minimum, not a bad player/enforcer to have at our disposal.
STEPHEN A. SMITH AGREES WITH CHRIS PAUL THAT BLAKE GRIFFIN WILL DETERMINE H ..
I have been quite pleased with Barnes so far. I don't see much a difference because of his bad boy attitude towards other teams (especially with regards to Blake). I don't see him being an enforcer (like KMart and Reggie, but it is still better than nothing). I think someone like Baron would have been best to back up Blake - hes respected, hes been a baller most of his career, hes got an attitude and can afford a T, refs give him some extra slack due to his veteran status, etc..)
But purely basketball, welcome back Matty B. So far so good, so far I am very pleased.