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NBA says Matt Barnes’ $25K fine had nothing to do with Suns owner Robert Sarver

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns

NBAE/Getty Images

Matt Barnes of the Clippers was fined $25,ooo for “directing inappropriate language toward a fan,” the league announced on Tuesday via official release.

It was the second time this season that Barnes has been fined for such conduct, and it’s unlikely to be the last. He has a long history of such behavior, and as he did a season ago, took to Twitter after this latest incident to claim he had been victimized.

Another 25k! The part of the story the nba hasn’t told you was my language wasnt directed at a fan, I was talkn to the owner of the Suns....

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) January 27, 2015

..Who was sitting on the baseline & I only said something to him AFTER he cussed at me, BUT because I didn’t SNITCH I get fined!! #thecode

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) January 27, 2015

Responding to an OWNER who cussed at me first.. 50,000 dollars for that?? Come on now!

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) January 27, 2015

The problem, of course, is that the video shows (and the league confirmed) that the fine was indeed for an incident involving the fans.


An NBA spokesman told’s Marc Stein that the league’s review of the incident “confirmed that it was not an interaction with Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver” that led toMatt Barnes’ fine.

From Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:

Video shows Barnes was 25 to 30 feet away from Sarver’s corner seat with his back turned to him when he made his profane comment. His words were directed into the sideline seats, where three fans were heckling him.

It seems silly for a player to defend himself so vehemently when a cursory review of the video can easily prove him wrong. Then again, it seems silly for a player to involve himself in such nonsense repeatedly, season after season -- but here we are.