Why Can’t We Be Friends: Los Angeles Lakers Sign Former Foe Matt Barnes

On Tuesday afternoon, seventh-year swingman Matt Barnes was officially introduced as the Los Angeles Lakers' latest free agent acquisition—another one of the many magician-like moves general manager Mitch Kupchak has pulled out of his hat; this one of the discounted two-year, $3.6 million variety.

The signing of Barnes cements L.A.'s last major crack on its relatively new-look roster, a roster that is expected to have as few as five new names on it when training camp commences in late September.

What's more, is it supplements the team's defensive-minded, tough-guy mentality, which allowed the Lakers to capture their second NBA championship in as many seasons just last month.

Barnes's ability to play both the shooting guard and small forward positions will alleviate the heavy load of minutes that Kobe Bryant has carried throughout his 14-year career.

The aging Ron Artest will also benefit from longer breathers, especially if he continues to pursue a secondary career in rapping.

More specifically, Barnes is a dogged defender who can space the floor and drain the deep ball—in other words, the triangle-friendly type that gives Phil Jackson yet another weapon to use in his already deep arsenal.

Sounds like one of those "We met on eHarmony.com and couldn't be happier" commercials, right?

Not so fast.

For all that Barnes brings to the Lakers potluck, his mere presence at the party could very well shut it down altogether.

During L.A.'s only regular-season visit to Orlando last season, Bryant and Barnes got entangled time and again, trading elbows like they were stocks and sending stares like they were part of an unlimited text-messaging plan.

In his postgame press conference Bryant laughed off Barnes's in-game behavior, calling it "entertaining."

Lamar Odom, however, wasn't as lighthearted about the back-and-forth business, saying,...

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