Former Clipper Matt Barnes said he and Coach Doc Rivers had a rocky relationship, and that Rivers didn’t want him on the team.
“Doc never wanted me,” Barnes told NBA.com. “He couldn’t wait to get rid of me. Doc and I never saw eye to eye. He tried to get me out of there the second he got there, so it wasn’t too surprising to me what happened when things went south.”
After the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs last season, becoming just the ninth team in NBA history to lose after having that type of advantage, the Clippers made some roster adjustments.
They traded Barnes and Spencer Hawes to the Charlotte Hornets in June in exchange for Lance Stephenson. The Memphis Grizzlies then acquired Barnes from the Hornets in exchange for Luke Ridnour in late June.
“I was the first trade of the summer,” Barnes told the website. “Like I said, he couldn’t wait.”
Barnes, 35, had a successful 2014-15 season with the Clippers, averaging 10.1 points, four rebounds, 1.5 assists and a career-high 29.9 minutes a game and shooting 44.4% from the field. He also shot 36.2% from beyond the three-point line.
Earlier this month, Clippers point guard Chris Paul said of Barnes: “There’s no question we’re going to miss Matt. Matt brought a lot to our team -- leadership, toughness. Matt was just one of a kind.”
Barnes said he has no doubt that his former teammates will feel his absence in a major way.
“There’s a lot of things that didn’t show up in the box score or in the stat sheet that I did, on the court and off the court and in the locker room, that I know they don’t have anymore,” Barnes said. “They know what type of guy I am.”
The Clippers host the Grizzlies on Nov. 9. Barnes said he’s already looking forward to that game, though not so he can go against his former teammates.
“I can’t wait to play against Doc Rivers,” Barnes said.