Matt Barnes Under Investigation for Assault

WASHINGTON, USA - NOVEMBER 28: Sacramento Kings' Matt Barnes (22) in action against Washington Wizards' Jason Smith (14) during the NBA basketball game between Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings at the Verizon Center in Washington, USA on November 28, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes is the subject of an investigation in connection to an alleged incident at a New York City bar on Monday morning.

Matt Barnes Under Investigation for Assault

According to the police report as reported by USA Today, a man choked a woman and then assaulted two others who attempted to intervene in the altercation early Monday morning in an NYC nightclub. Surveillance footage shows Barnes as the assailant, but TMZ reports that Barnes and another unnamed Kings player were not at the club when police arrived.

Barnes, 36, is in his second season with the Kings, though not consecutive. Barnes signed with Sacramento as a free agent directly following his rookie season of 2003-04 with the Los Angeles Clippers, then was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers during the following off-season. Barnes has been the personification of a long-tenured journeyman, as his now 14-year career has included nine different teams.

In addition to his reputation as a player who is often on the move, Barnes has a history of violating the NBA‘s player conduct policy. Nearly a year ago, Barnes was suspended two games by the NBA for getting into a physical altercation with former player and then-New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher. Nine months ago, Barnes was suspended one game for¬†attempting to enter an opposing team’s locker room to confront an opposing player.

Given his history, any forthcoming discipline with the league could be more serious. Additionally, it could be forthcoming whether Barnes is actually charged with any crimes or not, as the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement affords the commissioner’s office those powers.

If Barnes is suspended, the Kings should be able to weather his loss. In 20 games (four starts) so far this season, Barnes is averaging 7.5 points, five rebounds, and 2.7 assists in just under 26 minutes per contest.


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Derek Helling is a freelance writer who covers the intersections of sport and business, culture and law. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double-majoring in Journalism & Mass Communications and Sport Studies. As a fan, he follows Hawkeye athletics, Major League Baseball, the Florida Panthers and the Miami Heat.


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