Clippers' Matt Barnes is fined $25,000 by NBA in wake of ejection

The NBA fined Clippers forward Matt Barnes $25,000 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.

Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations, informed Barnes and the Clippers on Thursday afternoon about the league’s decision, saying Barnes violated NBA rules.

Because the NBA has penalized Barnes, the “One Penalty” rule in the collective bargaining agreement precludes the Clippers from imposing any additional punishment, said NBA labor expert Larry Coon.

Barnes was fined in part for violating the league’s social media rule. Before the 2009-10 season the NBA said that players cannot tweet from 45 minutes before a game starts and until they have finished their media availability after a game.

Barnes was ejected just before halftime of the game Wednesday night at Staples Center.

During the second half, @Matt_Barnes22 fired off a tweet that included a racial epithet and a profanity: “I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these … All this … does is cost me money.”

Barnes tweeted after being ejected, but an NBA official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said Barnes violated the rule.

“So it doesn’t matter that he was ejected,” the NBA official said. “That would give guys free passes to do whatever the heck they want.”

The play that triggered this came with six seconds left in the second quarter. Clippers star Blake Griffin went up for a shot and was fouled by Thunder forward Serge Ibaka. Their arms got entangled and they briefly wrestled after the play. Barnes ran over to help out his teammate and shoved Ibaka.

Barnes and Ibaka were ejected, and Griffin was given a technical foul. The NBA did not fine Ibaka.

The Clippers did not practice Thursday and the team had no official comment about Barnes’ fine. He is expected to talk to the media before practice Friday.

Barnes apologized on Twitter on Thursday morning to his teammates, the Clippers organization and fans.

“I was completely wrong for pushing Ibaka & then for what I tweeted following the altercation,” Barnes tweeted. “I’ve been doing this for to long to let my emotions get the best of me.. My poor choice of words & timing do not reflect who or what I am about..

“It was very selfish on my part to make this situation about me instead of my teammates that fought their hearts out & earned a big win against a tough okc team.. Now I could have took the easy way out & said, ‘My twitter was hacked.’ But that’s not what I’m about. I [accept] full responsibility for all my inappropriate action last night & I am truly sorry!”

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday night that Barnes probably was “emotional” after the ejection.

But Rivers didn’t like the tone of the Barnes’ tweet or the racial epithet.

“The choice of words, obviously, that’s a word that I’m not a fan of in all venues,” Rivers said.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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