B/R Exclusive: Interview with Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Lakers

On All-Star Friday, Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Lakers hosted a silent auction in Downtown LA, to benefit his charity Athletes vs Cancer.

Furthermore, he was nice enough to sit down and answer some questions for Bleacher Report, with topics ranging from his improved health, the Lakers' recent road bumps and the possibility of an NBA lockout in 2011-12.

The following is a transcript from the interview:


B/R: First of all, I’d like to say that what you’re doing with Athletes vs Cancer is really admirable, and it’s also great that Warehouse Shoe Sale was able to come in here and sponsor this event. Now would you like to talk about some other types of things that Athletes vs Cancer does? 

Barnes: Athletes vs Cancer is a foundation that I started in 2008 after I lost my mom to cancer in 2007, and our goal is early detection, preventative screening and just really spreading knowledge about the cancer disease. 

B/R: That's a really, really great thing to do. How is your knee doing, by the way? 

Barnes: It’s good. I just got cleared by physical therapy today, and I’ll be back practicing on Monday. 

B/R: So do you think you’ll be able to return to game-play by early March? 

Barnes: Yeah, either the end of this month or the beginning of next month. 

B/R: So now that you’ve been playing with the Lakers for a while, how is it playing alongside guys like Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom, a couple guys you got into it with a little last year?

Barnes: It’s been great. We didn’t really get into it, I mean really, last year it was just more of being a competitor more than anything, you know, just both guys going back and forth. But ever since I’ve been a Laker, it’s been great, and those guys have really accepted me. 

B/R: W...

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