Archive for the 'Matt Barnes' Category

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Barnes, Walton Strain Respective Hamstrings

Two Laker forwards coincidentally suffered hamstring strains during Thursday morning’s practice.

Matt Barnes strained his left hammy, and Luke Walton his right.

Both strains were classified as “minor” by team spokesman John Black, and both are listed as “day to day.”

Video: 1-on-1 with Matt Barnes

We sat down for a few minutes with Matt Barnes following his introductory press conference with the team to chat on video, discussing his tattoos, days as a All-American high school wide receiver … and of course what it will be like to play for his favorite childhood team.

To view, click play above, or head over to the homepage, where team videos can always be found.

Matt Barnes Presser Highlights

Matt Barnes became the latest Laker to be introduced in press conference format at the team’s practice facility, sitting in the seat occupied most recently by new teammates Theo Ratliff and Steve Blake on Tuesday afternoon.

Below are the highlights from the interview of Barnes, who averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds on 48.7 shooting in 25.9 minutes for the Orlando Magic last season.

- (Opening statement): “It’s a lifelong dream to be a Laker. Growing up in California in the 1980′s, you had no choice but to love Laker basketball. I grew up a huge Showtime fan … Magic, Worthy, Kareem, Byron Scott. It’s come full circle now. I’ve had a hell of a road to get here, but I’m very happy to be a Laker. I just felt this was the best situation for myself and my family to succeed … historic franchise, coming off two championships looking for the third, I just felt that this was a good fit.

- Barnes said his role on the team doesn’t matter to him, that he’s going to do whatever he has to do to the best of his abilities.

- Barnes said that he doesn’t try to get under the skin of opponents, but that he simply plays hard. He added: “I respect all my opponents but I fear no one.” Barnes explained that he is essentially a football player playing basketball. Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant like to fancy themselves fantastic potential football players, but Barnes actually caught 28 TD’s to lead the nation as an All-American high school wide out in Sacramento.

- Barnes said he couldn’t ask to play with a more competitive player than Kobe Bryant, and said all the “issues” between the two on the court were overblown. He explained that there is clear mutual respect between the two. And also: “I play with a lot of the same fire he does … I’m finally done guarding him … except in practice.”

- (On playing for Phil Jackson): “He’s the best. I’m very excited to learn from him. The success he’s had in the league is second to none, and I’m looking forward to being a part of history.”

- Barnes pointed to some of the All Star players he’s played with: Allen Iverson, Shaq, Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Vince Carter. Now he gets Kobe, Pau and (soon enough) Andrew Bynum.

- As Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak later confirmed, Barnes and the Lakers have had a mutual interest for years.

- Barnes, one of the league’s better perimeter defenders, pointed out how elite L.A.’s perimeter defense already was, then compared the Lakers with Miami’s expected offense: “To find three perimeter defenders like myself, Ron and Kobe in the league on the same team … I’d say Miami has a lot of firepower offensively … we have the same offensively, but we’re tough on D as well. So I can’t wait.”

- Along those lines, Barnes recognizes the benefit of playing with a shot blocker, as he did with Dwight Howard last season: “Absolutely (allows me to be more aggressive). Getting a chance to play with Dwight last year, he erased a lot of my mistakes. I was a very aggressive defender and took advantage of having that security blanket last year, but now I have two seven footers, not just one. I can really go out there (on the perimeter) and get into somebody, knowing that (those guys) have my back.”

- Barnes said that there isn’t a specific reason for him wearing No. 9, other than the fact that his previous number, 22, is retired by the great Elgin Baylor, and that no one’s wearing Magic’s 32.

- Finally, Barnes said that he is getting a new tattoo drawn up to honor his mother, who passed away in 2007. His current favorite of many is the foot imprints of his twin sons on his neck.

Matt Barnes – Top Games of 2009-10

D070800031.JPGMatt Barnes had a solid 2009-10 while playing for his seventh NBA team in as many seasons, averaging 8.8 points on 48.7 shooting with 5.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes for the Orlando Magic (59-23).

We took a look at some of Barnes’ better games from the campaign, looking to focus on contests in which his minutes remained relatively low, because it’s likely that he will stay around or below the PT he averaged in Orlando.

Like fellow new Laker Steve Blake, one of Barnes’ better all-around games came against L.A., No. 8 on our list:

1) 11/4 vs. Phoenix: 13 pts, 11 rebs, 5 asts, 2 stls, 32 min
3) 11/13 vs. New Jersey: 13 pts, 13 rebs, 5 asts, 1 stl, 1blk, 37 min
4) 12/10 @ Utah: 17 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts, 25 min
5) 12/16 vs TOR: 20 pts, 6 rebs, 3 asts, 1 blk, 30 min
6) 1/2 @ Chi: 23 pts, 5 3-pointers, 4 rebs, 3 asts, 30 min
7) 1/13 @ Den: 28 pts, 9 rebs, 3 stls, 37 min
8) 1/18 @ LA: 13 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts, 2 blks, 37 min
9) 1/20 vs Ind: 10 pts, 16 rebs, 6 asts, 3 stls, 38 min
10) Mar 1 – Mar 5*: 14.6 pts, 72% FGs, 5.3 rebs, 1.0 stls, 1.0 TOs, 24 min
*Three-game stretch equaled ideal production for the Lakers in an average of 24 minutes.