Matt Barnes stood with his back against the wall and once again apologized to his teammates for his inappropriate comments on Twitter, but the Clippers forward had no remorse for using a racial epithet in his tweet.
Barnes was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday for failing to leave the court promptly after being ejected Wednesday night from the Clippers-Oklahoma City Thunder game and for using inappropriate language on Twitter following his ejection.
He told the media Friday before practice that his tweet was "bad timing," but said his word choice is commonplace for him and his teammates.
"Obviously the word I used is a word that's used on the court, is used in the locker room, is used by most of my friends and family," Barnes said. "It's a 'regular' word to me. I think my mistake was using it in a social manner, which I regret and I apologized for. You guys [in the media] have to get used to…This is a new day and age and for my generation, that's a very common word."
Barnes went on to talk about how the racial epithet is used by people in their 20s and 30s, by the hip-hop community, in music and on television.
He also said he understands that athletes are role models and that little kids look up to them and mimic what they do and say.
But Barnes tried to paint his use of a racial epithet as "not necessarily a racial slur."
"And everyone is trying to paint it like a hate crime or something," Barnes said. "It's a word that I guarantee will be used out here on the [practice] court today. It's a word that I've already heard in the locker room this morning. So, it's not as big of a deal as people try to make it. My mistake was on social media and the platform that I used it on."
Barnes was asked if he understood why his use of the racial epithet is so bothersome for so many people.
"I think the way it's said makes people cringe," Barnes said. "…It's like saying 'Bro.' That's just how we address people now. That's how we address our friends. That's how we talk. That's how my wife talks. That's how my family talks. People talk that way now…. It's more slang."