Matt Barnes and Derek Fisher, who spent parts of two seasons as teammates with the Lakers, were involved in a physical altercation Saturday after Barnes allegedly confronted Fisher about his relationship with Barnes’ estranged wife, according to multiple reports.
The New York Post, citing a person close to Fisher, reported that Barnes left “a few scratches” on Fisher, who now coaches the New York Knicks. Barnes had driven from the Memphis Grizzlies’ training camp in Santa Barbara to the Los Angeles home of Gloria Govan, Barnes’ former wife and Fisher’s current girlfriend, after learning that Fisher was present at the home.
An NBA spokesman said it would be premature for him to comment on the incident and the Grizzlies released a statement saying they were gathering information on the reports.
Fisher missed the Knicks’ practice Monday because of what the team said was an unrelated matter.
Barnes and Govan separated more than a year ago and the split was a major distraction for Barnes early in his final season as a Clipper. He bounced back to have one of the best seasons of his 12-year NBA career, however, before the Clippers in June traded him to the Charlotte Hornets, who then traded Barnes to the Grizzlies 10 days later.
Fisher retired after the 2014-15 season and went 17-65 in his first season coaching the Knicks.
Barnes has had a few legal scrapes in recent years, including an arrest on suspicion of domestic violence in 2010 and a misdemeanor traffic warrant in 2012. He was also among the NBA’s most temperamental players, routinely ranking near the top of the league in technical fouls and tweeting a racial epithet about his Clippers teammates during the 2013-14 season.