NBA says Matt Barnes’ $25K fine had nothing to do with Suns owner Robert Sarver

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Matt Barnes of the Clippers was fined $25,ooo for “directing inappropriate language toward a fan,” the league announced on Tuesday via official release.

It was the second time this season that Barnes has been fined for such conduct, and it’s unlikely to be the last. He has a long history of such behavior, and as he did a season ago, took to Twitter after this latest incident to claim he had been victimized.

The problem, of course, is that the video shows (and the league confirmed) that the fine was indeed for an incident involving the fans.

From ESPN.com:

An NBA spokesman told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that the league’s review of the incident “confirmed that it was not an interaction with Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver” that led toMatt Barnes’ fine.

From Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:

Video shows Barnes was 25 to 30 feet away from Sarver’s corner seat with his back turned to him when he made his profane comment. His words were directed into the sideline seats, where three fans were heckling him.

It seems silly for a player to defend himself so vehemently when a cursory review of the video can easily prove him wrong. Then again, it seems silly for a player to involve himself in such nonsense repeatedly, season after season — but here we are.