It’s official: Kings waive Matt Barnes

February 20, 2017

NBA, Sacramento Kings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Matt Barnes was added to the Kings roster to give them some toughness and to take some pressure off All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. People avoided using the word but the fact is Barnes was brought in to be an “enforcer”. That’s a title the NBA avoids while the NHL has accepted the role and title for years. 

Barnes had also played for head coach Dave Joerger in Memphis which set him up to help interpret Joerger’s philosophy and actions to his new teammates. Add in Barnes ability to be a force on offense or defense as needed and it is easy to see why the Kings added him to the roster. 

The fact that Barnes is a Sacramento product didn’t hurt his value to the Kings. Local hard-core fans followed Barnes because he was a Del Campo High School player – he was like their own personal connection to “the association”. Now Barnes would become their personal tie to the Kings. 

Things started off great. Barnes took on the older brother role for the team. When things were not going well, Barnes would have the press corps come to him to ask questions and get answers. It was all going well until a fateful night in Manhattan when Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins were supposedly involved in a fight inside a trendy nightclub following a Kings loss to the Knicks. 

Since that time, Barnes has not been able to be that force in the locker room with the press he once was before the NYC incident. He continued to play at a high level on the court even after having to return to New York to be charged with a misdemeanor. 

Now, Cousins is gone and making the playoffs is no longer the number one priority. Remaking the team and culture is the new agenda for the Kings; therefore, Matt “the enforcer” Barnes is no longer needed in Sacramento. 

With Kings paying the bulk of his salary, expect a team fighting to make the playoffs or looking to move up in the seeding to “rent” Barnes’ services for the remainder of the season and playoffs. 

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About Charlie O. Mallonee

I have been a sports reporter/broadcaster since 1976 which means ... I'm old and I love sports. I have done play-by-play for minor league baseball - including the infamous "Bad News Bees" - San Jose State football and football and high school sports in the Bay Area and on the Monterey Peninsula. I had the great privilege to host a weekly sports talk show on KNRY Radio Monterey/Salinas with my producer the late,great Gary Araki. I also hosted and produced "the Sports Fanatics" talk show on KSAC Radio in Sacramento. For the last 10 years, I have been a beat reporter covering the Oakland Athletics for Sports Radio Service. Three years ago, I became the senior reporter for our Sacramento Kings coverage. My goal is to bring you the news, views, fun and excitement of every event I am assigned to report on for Sports Radio Service.

View all posts by Charlie O. Mallonee

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