NBA suspends Matt Barnes
The NBA has suspended Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes one game without pay after he pleaded no contest in California state court to resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer in the discharge of his duties.
Barnes was arrested in Manhattan Beach in late July after dining with his wife, Gloria Govan. The arresting officer reportedly had stopped and cited Barnes twice before and waited for Barnes outside the restaurant before placing him under arrest for driving with a suspended license.
"I was in the wrong to begin with, having the suspended license initially, and then after that it was probably because my car windows are tinted," Barnes said in late September. "Having a tinted car is a violation, but being a professional athlete out here, to protect myself and my family, I don't want everyone to see me inside my car, see my kids inside my car and see my wife inside the car, so we take measures to stop that."
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Barnes pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of unlicensed driving and resisting arrest. The judge sentenced him to two years of probation and ordered Barnes to complete 30 hours of community service and attend 13 counseling sessions with a private therapist.
Prosecutors opted not to charge Barnes with the felony originally claimed in the arrest by Manhattan Beach police. Barnes allegedly refused to cooperate and threatened an officer before he was arrested on suspicion of threatening a public official, which is a felony.
"I went through some stuff this summer, legally, that just got handled the other day. It was a mess and a joke, really," Barnes explained in September. "They were saying I was drunk and I was doing this and I was doing that, and none of it was true.
"But perception is everything, so I just had to sit back and not say anything because we were going through legal terms. Luckily for me, the Clippers took a chance and I'm here."
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office on Tuesday opted to file a misdemeanor charge but would not elaborate on why it agreed to a deal on the lesser charge.
"They would not talk about it because they didn't have anything to say," Barnes said. "The whole truth will come out, but I was harassed by this cop for a good three months. He took my car during a playoff game and made me walk home, arrested me when I was walking down the street.
"I went through some stuff but everything worked out and I'm here, so I'm happy about that."
ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi contributed to this report.
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