Matt Barnes has been somewhat of a journeyman in his 10 NBA seasons, playing with nine different teams during his career. When he signed with the Lakers it was met with many questions, much like the signing of Ron Artest a year earlier. Barnes has a history of explosive behavior, but that doesn’t appear to be much of a concern to Los Angeles, who is just glad he is on their side.
Since Barnes has played for so many teams, almost a third of the entire league, it is common he is matched up against his former mates. It happened the other night versus Phoenix, and will happen again on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors.
Barnes has turned his lack of tenure with any team into motivation, using it to push him towards being a better player. The teams he’s played for have certainly reaped the benefits of his aggression, and the Lakers are learning that quickly. He brings an attitude off the bench that the Lakers haven’t seen in quite some time, and frankly it’s overdue. There always seem to be players on opposing teams that get under the skin of players and fans alike just by playing hard and not backing down, and Barnes is that type of player.
The Lakers will benefit from having Barnes on their bench this season, but who knows how long it will last. If history has taught us anything it’s that we have no idea what’s going to happen in the future, so I won’t waste anymore time speculating. For now, both Barnes and the Lakers will enjoy being on the same side for awhile.
For another story concerning Barnes and his life as a NBA pinball be sure to check out this article courtesy of Ramona Shelburne over at ESPN Los Angeles.