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Matt Barnes dropped as Sacramento Kings analyst weeks after incident at Crespi High game

Then-Clippers forward Matt Barnes protests a foul during the game against the Lakers in 2013.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
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Former UCLA and NBA forward Matt Barnes was reportedly dropped as a Sacramento Kings studio analyst by NBC Sports California nearly three weeks after he yelled at officials and confronted a student broadcaster from Studio City’s Harvard-Westlake School during a high school boys’ basketball game.

Barnes, 43, became irate after an official called a technical foul on one of his twin sons, who play for Encino Crespi. Video posted to social media shows Barnes putting his right hand on the shoulder of Harvard-Westlake student Jake Lancer, who was broadcasting the game. Barnes and Lancer exchanged words before adults intervened.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Barnes no longer will serve as a Kings analyst, a job he’d held for three years. Barnes played 14 seasons in the NBA, including two with the Lakers, four with the Clippers and nearly two with the Kings. He played at UCLA from 1998-2002.

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Barnes addressed the confrontation during an appearance Feb. 13 on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.”

“I was yelling at the refs, Dan,” he told Le Batard. “I’ve yelled at the refs my entire college career, my 15-year NBA career. I coach AAU in the summertime, I have high school boys, and I have a 5-year-old coming down the pipeline, so I’m going to be doing a lot of yelling at the refs.

“This particular incident — I will say my one mistake was putting my hand on [Lancer’s] shoulder. A lot of people want to say I grabbed this kid or I did this — I literally put my hand on this kid’s shoulder because it was almost like I was talking to my son. ... So he and I had a little back and forth, and obviously ... for touching him, I was wrong. But I just didn’t like the disrespect that came with the entitlement where they felt like they could say anything to me.”

High schools like Harvard-Westlake, Santa Margarita, Inglewood and St. John Bosco have student-run broadcasts of sports, creating future media talent.

March 5, 2023

Lancer addressed the incident on social media, tweeting: “Last comment on the situation last night: I want to make it very clear that I never told [Barnes] to ‘shut up’ or anything close to that, he came up to me. All I wanted to do in the moment was get back to announcing the championship game.”

Harvard-Westlake backed Lancer in a tweet from the school account: “Harvard-Westlake is proud of Jake Lancer and the poise he showed on [Feb. 2] under unusual circumstances. Jake’s calm demeanor and professional focus are unparalleled in high school journalism and we are honored he is our lead commentator on HWTV.”

Barnes, who attended Del Campo High near Sacramento, was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in 2010, although the alleged victim, Barnes’ fiancée, Gloria Govan, said, “Any accusations of domestic violence are false. My fiancée, Matt Barnes, has never physically abused me or my family.”

Govan is the mother of twins Carter and Isaiah Barnes, whose coach at Crespi is former Lakers guard Derek Fisher. In 2015, Barnes and Fisher were involved in a physical altercation when Barnes confronted Fisher about his relationship with Govan, who was estranged from Barnes. Fisher and Barnes have since resolved their differences.

After three kids’ and 20 years’ worth of youth sports, columnist Mary McNamara reflects on the real reason parents yell at the refs and other lessons she’s learned along the way.

Jan. 30, 2024

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