Get to know the guy that Matt Barnes punched in a summer league game

Kelly Dwyer
August 10, 2011

By now you've likely heard the story of Matt Barnes' punch at a participant in his charity event, and his unlikely "suspension" from summer league play. The Laker forward has long been a bit of a hothead, somewhat of a pugnacious sort, but punching some guy during a pro bono event? Oh, Barnes.

By the way, who was the guy that Barnes punched? What was his deal? How does he feel? Could he possibly be at fault?

Well, via the Twitter account of Wendell Maxey, we came across the tale of Dillion Sabia. No, that's not the name of a tapas place. It's the name of the cat that Matt Barnes cold-cocked. And he's mighty peeved.


From the Marin Independent Journal:

According to Sabia, tensions escalated when Sabia switched to cover Barnes after a screen. He prevented the former Warrior from getting to the basket. Barnes was forced to kick a pass outside, a shot followed and the two fought for positioning on a rebound.

"I guess he didn't like how I boxed him out. He tried to wrap his arms around my neck and throw me on the ground, then I turned around and ran at him and we started talking smack to each other," Sabia said. "He pushed me, I pushed him in the chest and then he took a swing at my head. I turned my head, he barely clipped my ear.

"Everybody out there is either playing professionally overseas or playing college ball. Everybody's out there for a reason. There's no need for him to be, like, all pissing and moaning and being immature about a situation."

You know, for someone as young as Sabia is, to be using phrases like "pissing and moaning" and talking about the participants being "immature," he's immediately become one of my favorite players. Ever. That sort of Progeria always sits well with me. Because relics like us are usually too sore to stand up.

Sabia went on to point out that he doesn't "really like L.A." (at this point, I'm ready to burn him all my Steely Dan albums), and that Barnes was -- you guessed it -- "a little hothead."

Whatever the reason for the skirmish, it's always nice to put a name to the fist to the face.