After getting fouled by Ibaka on a shot attempt near the rim, Griffin got a hold of Ibaka’s arm and held on tight. The natural reaction by Ibaka was to set himself free from the hold, but it appeared as if he had shoved Griffin from the back in the process. Interjecting immediately with a shove was Matt Barnes, who is never one to back away from defending a teammate.
Things did not escalate from there, as Barnes, Ibaka and Griffin were all eventually separated. The refs, however, felt all the commotion was bad enough to eject both Barnes and Ibaka, while handing out a technical foul against Griffin. Some weren’t so appreciative of the ruling, as there appeared to be no need to hand out automatic ejections over one shove and a whole lot of talking:
I agree JVG, much to do about nothing!! Ibaka and Barnes ejected, REALLY?? This league is so soft…
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) November 14, 2013
That’s was terrible. Serge did nothing. That’s wrong — Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) November 14, 2013
Shortly after being ejected from the game, Barnes had a shocking reaction to what happened (UPDATE: Barnes has since removed the tweet).
I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these niggas! All this shit does is cost me money..
— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) November 14, 2013
The wingman tweeted out his feelings while the game was still going midway through the third quarter, which may actually cost him extra money if the rule stating that you may not tweet during a game still stands from a few years ago. It’s unclear if he was directing the message to a particular teammate or simply said it out of frustration, but the overall message about stepping up for his teammates is loud and clear. It’s certainly not something you’d ever expect someone like Barnes to say so publicly, and it remains to be seen if this will cause some kind of a rift in the locker room.
*UPDATE: Barnes took the time on twitter to apologize for what he said and how it was said on Thursday:
As was previously mentioned, his initial tweet was definitely one with plenty of shock value, but based on the actions he took thereafter, it’s clear that the forward was caught up in the moment and overreacted purely out of frustration. Hopefully for him and the Clippers, who are re-identifying themselves for the better under Doc Rivers, this is a situation that won’t have to be revisited.
James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. You can find him on twitter @SheridanBlog.