Matt Barnes (center) was ejected after this skirmish. (Robyn Beck/AFP)
The NBA announced Thursday that Clippers forward Matt Barnes has been fined $25,000 for his behavior and profane Twitter comments following an ejection from L.A.'s 111-103 home win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
After shoving Serge Ibaka with both hands in the chest to earn an ejection, Barnes detoured to the sideline to pick up his son before heading to the locker room. Then, as the game was still going on, he turned to Twitter to vent about his ejection, which occurred after he stood up for Blake Griffin, who had become entangled with the Thunder forward.
“I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these ——!” Barnes wrote. “All this s— does is cost me money.”
He later deleted the tweet, which USA Today Sports saved with a screen capture.
So far, the NBA has not taken any further disciplinary action toward any of the players involved in the on-court incident.
Barnes posted an apology for his behavior on Thursday, in the hours before the NBA levied its fine.
“I’ve been doing this for [too] long to let my emotions get the best of me,” he wrote. “My poor choice of words [and] timing do not reflect who or what I am about. It was very selfish on my part to make this situation about me instead of my teammates that fought their hearts out [and] earned a big win against a tough OKC team. Now I could have took the easy way out and said, ‘My twitter was hacked.’ But that’s not what I’m about. I [accept] full responsibility for all my inappropriate action last night [and] I am truly sorry!”
The veteran forward has run afoul of the NBA law on numerous occasions, and he vented on Twitter after a March incident that also involved Ibaka and Griffin. Back in February, Barnes was suspended for one game after he received a flagrant 2 for shoving Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma in the neck. The NBA also suspended Barnes for one game back in November 2012 after he pleaded no contest to “resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer” following an offseason arrest. At the time, Barnes called that suspension a “JOKE.”
All things considered, Barnes got off easy on this one. Considering his track record, the extraordinary nature of his post-ejection actions and the racial bent to his Twitter profanity, the NBA easily could have chosen to throw the book at him. Instead, he drew a fairly standard fine, one that pales in comparison to the $100,000 hit levied on Kobe Bryant for using a homophobic slur during a game in 2011.
Barnes, 33, is on the books for $3.3 million this season.