The last part of his routine provides motivation from those who doubt the small forward. Some of the jabs trigger a laugh. Others prompt a response. All have spurred Barnes toward what might be the best season of the journeyman's career.
"You always appreciate the people that love and support you during the journey because it's been a hell of a journey," Barnes said Saturday, "but what keeps you going is everyone who says you can't. And they don't say it that nice. They say it a lot meaner than that."
Those searching for nasty remarks have had to get creative lately. Barnes has gone from a nightmarish off-season that included a divorce to a horrid preseason in which he made one of 18 three-pointers to shooting a career-best 36.7% from three-point range during the regular season.
He's also played lockdown defense and become a spirited leader for a team that could finish as high as second place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
"This has been a year that I kind of just could have gave away," said Barnes, who is also averaging double figures in scoring for only the third time in his career. "I'm 13 years in and at my age and having a rough start, I could have just disappeared and that would have been it. But I believed in myself and my teammates stuck with me. It's just a tribute to hard work."
Barnes' dual persona as someone loathed by opponents and loved by teammates was featured this week in a lengthy Sports Illustrated profile. In the story, Barnes talked about the expectations of pro athletes to suck it up and play through personal problems.
Barnes acknowledged having trouble focusing after his divorce this summer from Gloria Govan after less than two years of marriage.
"You have two hurt ex-husband and wives acting out in public and then there's kids involved," Barnes said. "It was a mess."
Barnes also engaged in a very public spat with
Barnes told the magazine he shot back to Sarver, his former boss, "You say another … word, I'll …" Barnes was fined an additional $25,000 for that exchange, the same amount he had paid for a previous incident in Washington.
The Clippers play their final regular-season game Tuesday in Phoenix, but Barnes said he's focused on playoff seedings, not Sarver.
"I don't like him," Barnes said Saturday. "I don't care how he feels about me."
That might not be entirely true. Barnes would probably prefer the extra motivation.
Barring injury, it appears Clippers point guard
CLIPPERS VS. DENVER
When: 7:30 PDT Monday.
Where: Staples Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330.
Record vs. Nuggets: 2-1.
Update: The Clippers need a victory to sustain any hope of obtaining the No. 2 seeding in the Western Conference playoffs. They beat the Nuggets, 107-92, on April 4 in Denver, but the Nuggets were without