Matt Barnes has an incredible tendency to get on his opponents’ nerves, and it’s easy to understand why. Barnes never stops talking. He’s no stranger to the hard foul or the occasional cheap shot. He holds, he pushes, he yaps, and he plays hard. That’s not the kind of thing that makes for an ideal opponent, and it’s safe to say that during his time with the Magic, Barnes got under the skin of a few notable Lakers.
All water under the bridge, as time — or really, free agency — heals all wounds. Barnes, while on Into the Night with Tony Bruno on Fox Sports Radio, had this to say about his current relationship with Bryant (as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews, link via Marcel Mutoni):
“Kobe has been the driving force behind this. I have been talking to Kobe back and forth like we were boyfriend and girlfriend for the last two weeks and sending us texts and talking. It feels good when you have the best player in the world in your corner and Kobe is definitely in my corner. He sent me a crazy text message today saying something like, anyone crazy enough to mess with me is crazy enough to play with me. So I think that was a good tone to set and I think I am ready to be a Laker.”
These are good times in Los Angeles. Andrew Bynum is on the mend, the Lakers picked up a few helpful free agents to add to their championship core, and Bryant and Barnes have been texting sweet nothings to one another late into the night. We knew the Lakers were going to be good next season, but throw in Barnes for good measure, and L.A. has a much-improved bench.
1. Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce from Lamar Odom.
2. With Odom facing health problems after a drug overdose, they rescinded the filing.
3. Odom reportedly continued drinking, frustrating Kardashian.
Court records in Los Angeles show Kardashian filed for divorce Thursday, citing irreconcilable differences.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport and then released.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because Morris was not charged. The person did not specify why Morris was detained.
The Wizards said in a statement they “spoke with Markieff earlier today and will continue to gather more details.”
Tinicum Township Police and Morris’ lawyer did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
The 26-year-old Morris is from Philadelphia. The Wizards acquired him from the Phoenix Suns at the NBA trade deadline.
Morris and twin brother Marcus, a forward for the Detroit Pistons, were indicted by an Arizona grand jury last year on felony aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating a man outside a Phoenix recreation center. The case is still pending.
According to a Phoenix police report, Erik Hood said five people including the Morris brothers repeatedly punched and kicked him. All five then left the area in a Rolls-Royce Phantom as bystanders began to appear. Police say it is alleged that Hood was assaulted for sending an inappropriate text message to the Morris brothers’ mother.
Russell Westbrook arrived at the arena in Golden State dressed for a (very weird) funeral.
The Thunder, up 3-1 in the Western Conference finals, can end the Warriors’ season tonight. So, Westbrook dressed ready to give his condolences.
Lest you think this is coincidence, he also wore black for Game 5 against the Mavericks and Game 6 against the Spurs. Jason Potter:
This is something players sometimes do – and I love it. What a great way to who your confidence, and I’m not sure any NBA player has more than Westbrook.
The withdrawal deadline for the 2016 NBA draft is June 13.
But the NCAA, in an effort to treat players better, allowed players to declare for the draft and withdraw by May 25 while maintaining college eligibility. (Yes, this qualifies as better treatment. Giving the players the full extra couple weeks to assess their futures? Not in this cartel.)
So, any college player who wanted to play collegiately next year faced an effective deadline of yesterday.
Of the 117 players who declared early through the American system, 57 are headed back to their college teams.
This list has no big surprises. By this point, most highly touted prospects have already declared their intention.
Here are all 57:
- Abdul-Malik Abu, North Carolina State
- BeeJay Anya, North Carolina State
- Ian Baker, New Mexico State
- V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame
- James Blackmon Jr., Indiana
- Antonio Blakeney, LSU
- Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
- Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
- Amida Brimah, Connecticut
- Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky
- Dillon Brooks, Oregon
- Elijah Brown, New Mexico
- Deonte Burton, Iowa State
- Antonio Campbell, Ohio
- Conor Clifford, Washington State
- Charles Cooke III, Dayton
- Bakari Copeland, Maryland-Eastern Shore
- Moustapha Diagne, Northwest Florida State
- Tyler Dorsey, Oregon
- D’Andre Downey, Stillman College (AL)
- Vince Edwards, Purdue
- Jimmy Hall, Kent State
- Josh Hart, Villanova
- Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
- Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
- Ike Iroegbu, Washington State
- Justin Jackson, North Carolina
- Kris Jenkins, Villanova
- Que Johnson, Washington State
- Peter Jok, Iowa
- Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
- Travion Kirkendoll, Centenary College (LA)
- Dedric Lawson, Memphis
- Marcus Lee, Kentucky
- Makai Mason, Yale
- Jahmal McMurray, South Florida
- Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
- Dallas Moore, North Florida
- Jalen Moore, Utah State
- Tyrell Nelson, Gardner-Webb
- Malik Newman, Mississippi State
- Marc-Eddy Norelia, Florida Gulf Coast
- Cameron Oliver, Nevada
- Alec Peters, Valparaiso
- QJ Peterson, VMI
- Malik Pope, San Diego State
- Rodney Purvis, Connecticut
- Corey Sanders Jr., Rutgers
- Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
- Rakish Taylor, Anderson University (SC)
- Ethan Telfair, Idaho State
- Trevor Thompson, Ohio State
- Melo Trimble, Maryland
- Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton
- Andrew White III, Nebraska
- Alec Wintering, Portland
- Zeek Woodley, Northwestern State