Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes insists that he only defended himself when another group of people attacked him for bumping into a woman in the VIP section of New York’s Manhattan’s Avenue nightclub after the Kings faced the New York Knicks in a 106-98 loss.
Barnes told TMZ that after he accidentally “butt bumped” the woman while taking his seat in the nightclub’s VIP section, she immediately delivered a hard slap to his face, apparently assuming he did it on purpose. That is when the two parties began to mix it up over the incident.
TMZ said witnesses saw Barnes knocked to the floor, whereupon a man jumped on him and began to choke him. Supposedly Barnes began striking back, and that’s when fellow player DeMarcus Cousins waded into the fight to support Barnes. Video caught the players outside the club laughing about the incident, but Barnes apparently also took images of his injuries to prove his claims.
Barnes’ attorney, Alex Spiro, seems keen to let this incident pass without any legal action, saying in a statement, “We do not believe a crime was committed and are hopeful no charges will be pressed.” Spiro also noted that Barnes is cooperating fully with authorities, according to ESPN.
Barnes, though, has a history of disciplinary fines during his 13-year NBA career. Just last year he was suspended after the league investigated an altercation between the player and then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher which occurred at the Los Angeles home of Barnes’ estranged wife.
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