Matt Barnes Suspended by NBA
The NBA suspended Los Angeles Clippers small forward Matt Barnes for a game, without pay, for pleading “nolo contendre” for a mishap in Manhattan Beach.
Barnes didn’t fight charges in California state court that include “resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer in the discharge of his duties.”
Formerly with the Los Angeles Lakers, Barnes rejoined the Clippers this summer as a free agent. The Clippers gave Barnes his first NBA opportunity during the 2003/04 season.
After two years with the Lakers, both with untimely injuries that limited his ability to contribute in the postseason, the Clippers added on Barnes as a last-minute pickup. Through the preseason, he’s been an excellent fit on a team whose strength may be its bench (after stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, naturally).
Barnes’ account of the incident that led to his arrest didn’t coincide with the officers but the charges weren’t worth fighting in court, thus the NBA suspension.
Barnes was originally placed under arrest for driving on a suspended license.
The Clippers open the season on Halloween at STAPLES Center against the Memphis Grizzlies.
In addition to missing Barnes, the team will be without veteran-small forward Grant Hill, leaving a short-list of players to throw at high-scoring wing Rudy Gay. The Clippers may need Lamar Odom or Jamal Crawford to play some three behind starter Caron Butler. Odom may be the better choice defensively, although his conditioning has been an issue. Odom is also recovering from a bone bruise (knee).