Matt Barnes fined $25K for inappropriate comments vs. PHX


Update: (01-28-15, 1:18 PM)

Plot twist: the NBA says Matt Barnes wasn’t fined for his alleged incident with Suns owner Robert Sarver, despite what the small forward stated on Twitter yesterday.

Following up his Twitter thoughts, Barnes spoke on the situation that led to the fine, pointing to a poor relationship between he and Suns owner Sarver.

It’s happened again. After an incident in the second quarter in a win over the Phoenix Suns that’s been labeled as “directing inappropriate language toward a fan”, the NBA has fined Clippers forward Barnes $25K. Soon after the announcement of the fine, Barnes took to Twitter to tell his side of the story, stating his comments were aimed, not at a fan, but to the owner of the Suns.

This isn’t the first time Barnes believes he’s been wrongly fined this season.

Following a December 13 matchup against the Washington Wizards, the NBA fined Barnes for reportedly cursing and kicking a water bottle at fans close by. And like the recent incident, Barnes disagreed with the fine as, once again, he claimed his comments toward the fans were the product of provocation.

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  • Having been to many NBA games (and other sporting events), I can attest to fans and observers crossing the line in hopes of interaction with league players. Some see it as a game, vying for attention, and others see it as a means of displaying a certain level of fandom. When the line is crossed and authorities are alerted, often the observer is removed from the game, completely avoiding situations such as this, but with so many attendees in the arena, it’s difficult for security to keep an eye on each and every fan who decides to want their negative thoughts on ‘Player X’ or ‘Player Y’ heard, a.k.a. what we saw with Barnes in Washington.

    With Suns owner Robert Sarver or anyone else of his status, the situation is much more difficult to evaluate , especially with Sarver unlikely to admit to his part in the bickering and no video surveillance to prove Barnes’ Twitter commentary to be true. It also doesn’t help that Barnes has quite the reputation around the NBA, making it easier for the NBA to justify making a decision of this nature, fair or unfair.

    Technical fouls included, in total, Matt Barnes has been fined $74,000 during the 2014-15 season (8 technical fouls, 1cursing fine, 1 kicked water bottle/cursing,  1 ejection). Though $74K is only roughly 2 percent of Barnes’ 2014-15 salary, no man walks away happy after losing money.