The already short-handed Memphis Grizzlies will be another man down Saturday night against the Clippers after the NBA announced it had suspended forward Matt Barnes one game for attempting to enter the Milwaukee Bucks’ locker room Thursday and “verbally challenging” Bucks forward John Henson.
Barnes said after the Grizzlies’ shoot-around Saturday that he did not try to enter the Milwaukee locker room to go after Henson, who had blocked his shot and taunted him in the final seconds of a victory over the Grizzlies.
Video footage showed Barnes running off the court and into a tunnel in the same direction as Henson, but Barnes said he was led astray by a worker at the arena.
Barnes said he wasn’t trying to escalate the situation, but security officials at the arena asked Henson to wait until the Grizzlies’ bus had departed before clearing him to leave.
“Maybe he was just scared,” Barnes said of Henson. “I don’t know why he was waiting. The situation happened on the court. He didn’t want it to spill over, I didn’t want it to spill over and they beat us.”
Barnes said he had spoken with NBA officials about the incident and hoped to be able to play when the Grizzlies faced his former team Saturday night at FedEx Forum.
Barnes had already been suspended two games this season for an off-court skirmish involving then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher in Southern California.
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