Matt Barnes Abruptly Removed From Kings’ TV Broadcasts

Former NBA forward Matt Barnes has been removed from NBC Sports California’s broadcasts of Sacramento Kings games, per Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.Matt Barnes, NBC Sports, NBA

Barnes, 43, has been appearing on the Kings’ pre- and postgame shows as an analyst and was in his third season.

He declined to comment when reached by Anderson. His dismissal could be the result of an incident at a high school basketball game.

“Barnes attended the game between Crespi Carmelite and Harvard-Westlake. The Los Angeles Times reported Barnes engaged Harvard-Westlake student announcer Jake Lancer during the school’s livestream broadcast after one of his sons was whistled for a technical foul,” Anderson wrote. “Video posted to social media showed Barnes putting his right hand on Lancer’s shoulder before other adults intervened. Barnes allegedly threatened to slap Lancer.”

Barnes addressed the situation during an appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, as relayed by Anderson.

“I was yelling at the refs, Dan. I’ve yelled at the refs my entire college career, my 15-year NBA career,” Barnes said. “I coach AAU in the summertime, I have high school boys, and I have a 5-year-old coming down the pipeline, so I’m going to be doing a lot of yelling at the refs. This particular incident — I will say my one mistake was putting my hand on (the student broadcaster’s) shoulder. A lot of people want to say I grabbed this kid or I did this — I literally put my hand on this kid’s shoulder because it was almost like I was talking to my son.

“He told me to sit my a– down. I was just like, ‘Why do you feel comfortable to be able to tell a grown man to sit his a– down?’ So he and I had a little back and forth, and obviously, admitting my faults to even touch him was wrong of me. But I want to make clear that the narrative of me as some guy that beats up people, I want people to know I didn’t body slam this kid. I didn’t choke slam him. I didn’t do any of the sort. I literally put my hand on his shoulder like I was talking to one of my sons. And, again, for touching him, I was wrong. But I just didn’t like the disrespect that came with the entitlement where they felt like they could say anything to me.”

Lancer has denied saying anything disrespectful to Barnes.

A 14-year NBA veteran, Barnes played for the Kings on two occasions (2004-05 and 2016-17). He also spent time with the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.

In all, he appeared in 929 regular-season games and carries career averages of 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.

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