According to the L.A. Times the Lakers just inked Matt Barnes to a two year contract. Noteworthy here is that Barnes took less money to play with the two time defending champs. As the L.A. Times reports:
“The most the Lakers could pay Barnes next season is $1.77 million, about half of what Cleveland was offering, and Barnes has a player option in 2011-12 for almost $2 million that would allow him to test the market again in a year if he wished.”
Who knew winning was so important to pro athletes? It’s one thing for superstars that have amassed hundreds of millions in their careers to take less money to improve their team, but it’s rare for a guy like Barnes, who has earned much less over his career to make this kind of a sacrifice. The signing with the Lakers shows Barnes’ love for the game, because to him, being rich means that you have a championship ring on your finger and not an extra mil in the bank.
Matt Barnes is a true journeyman in every sense of the word. Case and point: the Lakers will be his eighth team in nine years. His best chance at a ring was most likely last year in Orlando with Dwight Howard and Co., but they couldn’t get it done. The Magic were bumped out of the 2010 playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics would eventually go on to lose to the Lakers in the NBA Finals, the team Barnes is now joining.
My fondest memory of Matt Barnes was his role on the eighth seeded Golden State Warriors team that dismantled the number one seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2007 playoffs. The 2007 playoffs were his coming out party. He was a solid role player that came off the bench, played great defense, and knocked down the occasional three point shot. Oh, and his mohawk was pretty sick too.
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