Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: April 2, 8:56 AM ET
Matt Barnes suspended one game
By Dave McMenamin
SALT LAKE CITY -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes will have to put his steady comeback from right knee surgery on hold.
Barnes has been suspended one game without pay for "escalating an on-court altercation and actions following his ejection" from Thursday's game between the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, the NBA announced Friday.
"He definitely is going to have to check that stuff at the door when it comes to playoffs. You don't want to play short-handed in the playoffs. The third party in [an altercation] is not a way to step things in the right direction. They're going to get you almost every single time," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson Friday. "[But] the valor about standing up for a teammate that's been fouled in a way that's not part of our game, we admire that."
The eight-year veteran was ejected from the Lakers' 110-82 victory over the Mavs with 9:23 remaining in the fourth quarter for shoving Dallas guard Jason Terry after Terry was called for a flagrant foul 2 for pushing Lakers guard Steve Blake to the floor.
Referee Joey Crawford ushered Barnes toward the sideline near the Mavericks bench, where he was restrained by Dallas assistant coach Terry Stotts.
Barnes pried Stotts' arms from around his body as he made his way toward the Lakers bench, causing the coach to fall and land on a fan sitting courtside.
"I was just trying to walk to our bench and someone was trying to bear-hug me," Barnes said Thursday. "I didn't realize it was a coach until I turned around, after he was kind of off me. I definitely wouldn't want to push a coach but he was bear-hugging me right on their bench."
Barnes will serve his suspension Friday when the Lakers play the Jazz in Utah. It will cost Barnes 1/110th of his $1.765 million salary, or approximately $16,000.
Terry did not receive a suspension and his foul was downgraded from a flagrant 2 to a flagrant 1, according to NBA spokesman Tim Frank. Blake and Shannon Brown of the Lakers and Brendan Haywood of the Mavericks were ejected as well on Thursday, but also were not subject to a suspension.
Jackson thought it was fair that Terry did not receive a ban.
"His foul was not part of basketball, but it also was not enough to think of him being ejected," Jackson said. "It's not something that would probably put a person in danger, in harm's way."
After Thursday's game Terry said that Barnes had been saying "a bunch of nothing" ever since he played for the Golden State Warriors from 2006 to 2008 and on Friday told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd, "We call him the 'Charminator' because he's soft as Charmin toilet paper."
Barnes missed 26 games this season following his knee surgery in January but had been returning to form since coming back to the lineup March 6. He had 13 points and five rebounds in the Lakers' triple-overtime win against the Suns recently and had four points, three rebounds and a steal in 14 minutes against Dallas, punctuated by a strong one-handed dunk on the baseline.
"I get an extra day of rest for my knee. Ill be watching the game 2nite w/the rest of the laker fans, on tv," Barnes posted on his Twitter account. "All good team will keep it(cont) Rolln 2nite vs the Jazz.. Ill be bak sunday.. Appreciate the support from all the lakeshow fans.. RESPECT!!"
Ron Artest also spent time on Twitter talking trash about Mavs owner Mark Cuban, claiming Cuban heckled him from the sidelines during the game on Thursday. Cuban had instigated things with Artest prior to the game, telling reporters in Dallas that it is to the Mavericks' advantage when Artest commands the ball in the Lakers' offense.
"We'll see him in the playoffs," Artest said before the Jazz game. "He's a smart man. We'll see if he's right.
"I guess he doesn't feel too confident in his team. ... They don't feel like they can beat us, so that's his problem."
Barnes' suspension marks the third time in the past several weeks that the league has taken disciplinary actions against the Lakers. Andrew Bynum received a two-game suspension for a flagrant 2 he committed on Minnesota's Michael Beasley, and Derek Fisher had a late-game foul against the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Kaman upgraded to a flagrant 2 after the league reviewed the play.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.