Matt Barnes recently posted a photo of himself shirtless onto Instragram revealing a torso covered in tattoos.
In the text, he wrote about how people judge him without knowing him. He intimated, however, that his former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant and current Clippers teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin know his worth on the court.
"what HAS ALWAYS KEEP THAT FIRE INSIDE OF ME BURNIN & THAT...DOGG YOU SEE ON THE COURT, is EVERYONE who says I CANT!!," Barnes wrote. "ASK KOBE,CP OR BG WHO THEY GOIN 2 WAR WITH?? BET IM ON THAT LIST!"
Barnes is averaging 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds for the Clippers, who are in fifth place in the Western Conference with a record of 33-17.
He is known as an enforcer on the court, and is tied for having the most technical fouls in the league this season (11). In person, however, he is surprisingly polite and soft-spoken.
Barnes' life has been under a more intense microscope than many of his fellow NBA players because his wife, from whom he is now reportedly separated, starred on the reality television show "Basketball Wives." All of their personal drama has played out in the tabloids.
In his Instagram post, Barnes explained that many people don't understand the challenges that he faces.
"I love all my fans, the fans that appreciate & respect the hard work & time we put in, all the school plays & sporting events we miss out on in our children's lives," Barnes wrote. "We get paid well, but we are still human just like you..
"We can't call into work when we're sick, we hv to play, when we lose family members we don't hv time to morn, we hv to play, when we lose our families & don't get to see our kids for days at a time, we can't go hide & cry, we get paid to entertain, so we get on that court ... My life is played out in front of the world.. My life is your entertainment, you see [stuff] on blogs & tv & think you know the whole story.. [Shoot], by the way yall pass judgment & comment you would think you were there.. SO MANY CRITICS WITH NO CREDENTIALS!"
Barnes and Gloria Govan have 6-year-old twins, Carter and Isaiah. The twins are often in the locker room after Clippers games, playing with the sons of Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford. Barnes wrote that because of everything he's been through being mixed race, he's worried for them.
"In a world driven by attention & hate I'm scared to death of what the future holds for my kids, yes my kids will live a good life, because I worked my [butt] off for that, but how can I look Isaiah & Carter in the eyes & tell them based on the fact you are BLACK ITALIAN & MEXICAN people with HATE YOU for that reason alone, cops will PROFILE YOU for that REASON ALONE, you may not get a JOB, for that reason alone.... YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME....You know Matt Barnes the basketball player, the Matt Barnes the media wants you to know.. You don't know MATT BARNES the MAN, MATT BARNES THE FATHER!" he wrote.
Follow Melissa Rohlin on Twitter @melissarohlin