Sacramento Kings swingman Matt Barnes, a year after his dust-up with former teammate and then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher, made the headlines again in December after an alleged altercation at a New York City nightclub.
Barnes and teammate DeMarcus Cousins reportedly got into a scuffle with two other patrons at the posh club Avenue, which had previously hosted soirees held by New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter, in December. According to the New York Post’s initial report, Barnes and Cousins were partying in too tiny a space to keep the crew out of an alleged violent melee when other patrons “butt bumped” with Barnes.
The New York Daily News reported on Friday that Barnes, currently on a long Eastern road trip with his Kings, is set to turn himself in to answer to misdemeanor assault charges:
Among those injured were Jasmine Besiso, 26, and Myrone Powell, 35, both of whom claimed they were not involved in the initial dispute but got caught up in it when Barnes started choking the woman he was quarrelling with.
Powell said he was punched in the head by Cousins, then beaten by Barnes and his entourage.
This is all “according to a police source.”
Barnes, via his lawyer Alex Spiro, did not comment to the Daily News. A representative for Besiso and Powell chimed in that the charges and reported apprehension will have “taken too long” in the wake of the nearly-two month-old interaction.
Barnes, who turns 37 in March, is on his 11th NBA team, including two stints with the Kings. He averages 7.2 points in 24 minutes a game with the Kings, who are fighting for a playoff spot in the West despite an 18-27 record entering Friday night’s game in Indiana.
Soon after the melee, Barnes and Cousins were both hit with a civil lawsuit for the “assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress” that took place when the groups allegedly took to altercating. Compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $75,000 are being sought.
Barnes was having a good time at Avenue Nightclub with his teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, when he went to sit at his VIP booth and accidentally “butt bumped” a woman who was at the next booth over.
Barnes claims the woman reacted by slapping him in the face, hard — and that’s when all hell broke loose.
Barnes claims the woman’s crew — which included several men — jumped in and began to get violent. Barnes was knocked to the ground in the melee and one of the men began to choke him.
We’re told Barnes got physical in an effort to protect himself. Cousins also jumped in to defend Barnes. In footage shot moments after the fight, Cousins references Barnes getting choked.
Here’s a NSFW clip of Barnes after the incident:
You’ll recall that Barnes and Cousins originally made some silly noise after Sacto’s much-anticipated game with the Philadelphia 76ers was canceled on Nov. 30 due to a slick floor, taking advantage of the night off to enjoy some cognac and steak sandwiches:
A video posted by Ball Don't Lie (@yahooballdontlie) on Dec 2, 2016 at 6:17am PST
A game in New York was due four days after the Philadelphia cancellation, with the Avenue altercation happening in the wee hours after Sacramento’s Sunday evening loss to the Knicks, a game that saw Barnes and Cousins combine to miss 31 of 41 shots from the floor. On a Sunday.
DeMarcus Cousins is noted for his lavish charitable spending and time given to numerous local causes in Sacramento and elsewhere, while Barnes is no stranger to lending his time, but this newest update does not take away from the fact that the Kings currently lead the league in NBA Stereotypes from 2004.
Not only is Barnes known for his embarrassing back and forth with Derek Fisher, but he’s copped to a misdemeanor plea before for his role in a 2012 incident with a Los Angeles police officer that saw neither side coming off all that well (a 2010 felony domestic violence charge was later dropped). The Kings also employ Ty Lawson, who has several unfortunate drinking and driving credits stuck to his ledger, alongside Darren Collison and his 2016 guilty plea on a domestic violence charge.
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