Any time two of the game’s more physical players are involved in a hard foul situation, there’s always the possibility that either could explode.
Thankfully, after Matt Barnes committed a flagrant foul on Zach Randolph during the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies’ Game 3 win over the Clippers, we saw exactly the opposite.
Barnes caught Randolph from behind in what was a hard foul, but shouldn’t have warranted the officials ruling it a flagrant. He did catch Randolph on the head, however, and Randolph’s immediate reaction to turn around and get right in Barnes’ face had everyone initially concerned.
Barnes didn’t move, presumably because he saw the non-threatening look in Randolph’s eyes.
Randolph gently head-butted Barnes, smiling the entire time, and hugged him around the back of the head, after reaching out for a handshake once he stepped away.
Clearly, Randolph not only thrives in a game where his opponents are overtly physical with him. As he showed with his interaction with Barnes, he respects and appreciates the effort.