Ex-Warriors forward Matt Barnes doesn't refer to himself as NBA champion

Drew Shiller
NBC Sports BayArea

Ex-Warriors forward Matt Barnes doesn't refer to himself as NBA champion originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

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In late February 2017, Matt Barnes was waived by the Kings.

Less than two weeks later -- shortly after Golden State star Kevin Durant sustained a knee injury -- Barnes signed with the Warriors.

A little over three months later, Barnes became an NBA champion for the first time in his 14-year career.

He was recently a guest on the Pardon My Take podcast and this is how he was introduced:

"We now welcome on NBA champion, Matt Barnes. Does it still feel good to have people introduce you like that?"

His answer will probably surprise you:

"To be honest with you, I really don't count that championship. Obviously through the process of my career and everything I accomplished -- I earned it. But I got hurt going into the playoffs and I've never been given anything.

"I felt like because I wasn't out there on the court with my guys -- sweating and fighting -- that it was given to me. I appreciate the opportunity and the ring, but I don't really ever refer to myself as a champion or wear my ring.

"It has a nice ring to it but as far as just my mentality and the way I've always gone about things, I kind of feel like that was given to me."

Barnes was inactive for the Warriors' first four playoff games, and then played only 61 combined minutes over 12 games.

So it's understandable why he feels the way he does.

[RELATEDThis new Durant-Curry 'MVP' take might be the worst one yet]

But Barnes was very solid down the stretch in the regular season -- 5.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 20.5 minutes per game -- and absolutely deserves to be called an NBA champion for the rest of eternity.

Don't sell yourself short, Matt.

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