Clippers forward Matt Barnes tried on Friday to put an end to the controversy he became embroiled in for inappropriate comments he made toward Rockets guard James Harden’s mother during Game 2 in Houston.
Barnes said he had talked with Harden’s mother, Monja Willis, since the story broke that he made rude comments to her Wednesday night while Willis was sitting courtside at the Toyota Center.
“We’ve made our peace,” Barnes said. “We’ve spoken twice since the incident. She said something, I said something back. I’ve heard speculation of what I’ve likely said, which is crazy.”
When teammate DeAndre Jordan told Barnes he had directed his disparaging comments at Harden’s mother, he knew it wasn’t a good thing.
“I was like, ‘Ugh, God! That’s going to make it 100 times worse,'” Barnes said. “I don’t know her. I don’t really know James too well. Like I said, we’ve made our peace.”
Barnes said the reports that he swore at Willis were “untrue.”
But Barnes wouldn’t say what was said between the two.
“They’re trying to start controversy,” Barnes said. “She said something, I said something back. I spoke to her at halftime and spoke to her after the game and we're fine.”
Barnes said he was contacted by the NBA Friday morning about the incident, and that he planned on calling the league after the Clippers’ shoot-around for Game 3 Friday night at Staples Center. The best-of-seven semifinal series is tied at 1-1.
Barnes was fined $25,000 by the NBA in January for directing inappropriate language toward Phoenix owner Robert Sarver.
Barnes also was fined $25,000 by the league for kicking water and directing profane language at a fan during a game at the Washington Wizards in January.
In light of all his fines and run-ins with fans, Barnes was asked if it was best to ignore them no matter what they say to him.
“What’s crazy is that they can say anything and everything -- about our kids, to our wives, anything,” Barnes said. “And we say one thing and they run and tell and the next thing I know I’m probably going to get fined $25,000. I think I heard DJ [DeAndre Jordan] and D-Wade [Dwyane Wade] said it before, we’re human too. But they can take and prod us like animals in a cage and run and tell when we respond. So if you don’t want anything said to you, don’t say nothing to begin with.”