Matt Barnes is a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. We told you about that yesterday.
We’ve also told you that Chris Paul was playing GM and doing the recruiting — the Clippers want to keep Paul happy heading into his free agency and the buzz around the league is he and CAA have been a big part of the Clippers GM process this summer.
If you think we’re kidding, check out what Barnes told the Los Angeles Times after inking his deal.
“Chris Paul was talking about how tough we were going to be next year, assuming I was a Laker,” Barnes said in a telephone interview. “I told him I was a free agent and he said, ‘No, you’re about to be a Clipper.’ “
And soon it was done.
Paul’s influence may explain why the Clippers now have Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler, Grant Hill and now Barnes at the three; plus Chauncey Billups started last season at the two guard spot (he doesn’t play point with the Clippers) and Willie Green is behind him. That’s a lot of wing players, when what the Clippers need is a backup big.
But back to Barnes. The one thing that needed to be smoothed over before he signed was when Barnes picked up a flagrant foul shoving Blake Griffin to the ground in a preseason game last season. Barnes and Griffin talked before the signing.
“I just kind of explained to him that it was no disrespect to him or his game,” Barnes said. “I think he’s one of the best players in the league and arguably the most athletic player. I play basketball hard-nosed and if you’re not on my team, during that 48 minutes we’re enemies. He appreciated it and understood where I was coming from.”