Too Early to Pass Judgment on Matt Barnes

For the record, I’ve always thought Matt Barnes was a punk. Even though he’s sporting Purple and Gold, I still feel the same way. Sure, I’ll root for him if he can help get another three-peat in the bag. But he’s still just a punk in purple to me.

Barnes might be a punk but that doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically assume he pulled a punk move and was the aggressor in a domestic dispute in NorCal that lead to his subsequent arrest and eventual court date.

Naturally we’ll have to wait to for all the facts to come out before passing judgment. But that doesn’t mean Jerry Buss will do the same.

Since becoming a Laker, Barnes has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. In addition to his current legal woes, Barnes became blogger fodder for his Rick James style encounter with a summer league coach.

For Barnes, his days as a Laker could be over before they even begin. Considering the fact that Ron Artest has shown a mature grasp and understanding on what it means to be a Laker only makes Barnes look worse.

One needs only to look at how Barnes conducted himself on the court last season while attempting to antagonize Kobe Bryant to understand why the word ‘punk’ has always suited him so well.

But that doesn’t mean he’s pulled a punk move.

But it does mean Barnes has put himself in a bad position.

Being a Laker is more than sun and fun in Los Angeles. Wearing Laker colors is an honor, more of a privilege than a right. Of course many Lakers have had off-court issues in the past. From KB24’s Colorado trial to James Worthy’s escort service induced arrest in Houston, there are plenty of moments that have tarnished the Purple and Gold.

But let’s be honest. There is a big difference between Hall of Fame talent getting into trouble and journeymen role players making more waves than a Shaquille O’Neal belly flop.

For now, we owe it to Barnes to keep an open mind until the facts come out. Where there is smoke there is almost always fire but that doesn’t mean the last person seen was the one who lit the match.

Barnes might be a punk, but that doesn’t mean he pulled a punk move. Of course, that might not matter to Dr. Buss. He might not want to deal with the Matt Barnes headache which means Barnes could be punk’d before even playing a preseason game.

Tags: Jerry Buss Matt Barnes

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