Los Angeles Lakers Forward Matt Barnes Plays Enforcer in Summer League


Word on the streets of San Francisco today suggests new Laker Matt Barnes is already serving notice to the league, or at the very least to opposing coaches:

Don't mess with me unless you're ready for a fight.

According to reports out of the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League, the Santa Clara native's fiery nature got the best of him on Monday night when, while playing for the Dream Team, he got twisted up in a heated exchange with SF City assistant coach Rick Lewis.  The exchange resulted in a double-technical, as Barnes had to be pulled off the court to cool his head.

What caused the flare-up in the first place is as yet unreported.  The scarcity of details relating to the encounter, however, hasn't stopped rumors from circulating.

On the contrary, the mystery surrounding the events of Monday night has likely stoked the flames of speculation, with some gossip suggesting that there may have been some physical contact involved.

Regardless of what actually happened on that fateful night, it's clear that Barnes is already sharpening his focus for a title run in Los Angeles.  And for a player like Barnes, who is well known for his tenacity and intensity on the court, irrespective of the score or the greater context, perhaps this news shouldn't come as a total surprise.


It's those qualities that brought Barnes to the Lakers, that piqued Kobe Bryant's interest in him as one of the few players in the NBA with the machismo and the gall to even attempt to get under Kobe's skin (with mixed results).

It's that competitive fire that will help him transform the Lakers' bench from arguably the greatest weakness of last year's squad into a bona fide strength for the upcoming season, with a three-peat on the line.

Granted, it's a bit ridiculous to be confronting the opposing team's assista...

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