Matt Barnes Slaps Coach At Summer League Game

Monday night Matt Barnes was involved in an ugly incident during a game in the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League at Kezar Pavilion.

Matt Barnes slaps assistant coach during summer league game

(Coach Rick Lewis (l) was slapped by Barnes - pic via WarriorsWorld.net)

Nate Stuhlbarg of CSNBayArea.com reported on the game, and hinted at what happened:

Late in Monday night’s game, new Laker Matt Barnes provided the latest example when he was T’d up for a tense exchange with an assistant coach.

As if to prove that Payton’s years-old assessment still applied, Barnes got in the face of SF City assistant coach Rick Lewis and had to be pulled to his side of the court. A double technical ensued - the lone occasion when the intensity superseded the game of basketball - despite the playoff-caliber physicality maintained from tip-off to final horn.

Stuhlbarg provided no further detail on the incident in his game story.

CSNBayArea.com also posted video of the scene involving Barnes and Lewis that precipitated the double technical foul. But the actual altercation between the two was inexplicably edited out of the video. See for yourself:

Since that Monday night game, multiple eyewitnesses of the incident have come forward and informed me of what actually happened between Barnes and Lewis.I’m told that during a second half timeout, Barnes walked over to the opposing team’s (SF City) bench, which had been mercilessly needling Barnes throughout the game. As words were exchanged, Barnes slapped assistant coach Rick Lewis.

The two were quickly separated and Barnes retreated to his own team’s bench.

Game officials subsequently assessed a double technical foul. As Barnes walked back out onto the court after the incident, the San Francisco crowd struck up a “Beat L.A.!” chant.

Nothing more was made of the incident and Barnes is scheduled to play in another league game tonight against the same SF City squad. I sent an email and Facebook message today to Stuhlbarg asking about the incident - and the clumsy CSN video edit - but have yet to hear back.

While there’s several possible theories as to why CSNBayArea.com edited out Barnes striking Lewis, the website would’ve been better off posting nothing than what it uploaded onto the web.

And maybe it’s just me, but what possible reason is there for Barnes to be playing in this league in the first place?

UPDATE: Go here for a first person, on the record witness account of exactly what happened between Barnes and Lewis.