Matt Barnes certainly won’t be remembered for his time as a Laker. His two seasons donning purple and gold were largely unremarkable both in terms of team and individual success. If anything, he’ll be remembered more for what he did against the Lakers while on the Magic in the famous clip with Kobe Bryant.
Barnes’ career was filled with lots and lots of stops and, interesting, the Lakers were the team he played the third-most games with during his 14-year career. Pair that with his relationship with Kobe and it made his tenure with the franchise one of his favorites, he recently revealed.
During the latest episode of the Point Forward podcast with Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala, Barnes was asked about which teams were his favorite to play for. Barnes named a trio of teams, including the Lakers.
“I think there’s like three or four teams that stand out. I say over my journey, man – I played for eight teams in 15 years – that I got a chance to play with a lot of great players and future Hall of Famers. I played with (Chris Webber) and I played with AI. I played with Steph, Klay and that Warrior team. I played with Lob City and Chris Paul and Blake and I played with Kobe and I played with older Shaq. I played with MVP Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire. I played with a lot of dope a— players.
But probably my favorite stops for all different reasons were Golden State both times…the Clippers Lob City team…and then the Lakers. Getting a chance to play, knowing Kobe for so many years and kind of just being competitors to being able to have him recruit me to the team and going from teammates to real-life brothers was an amazing experience. Just really getting a chance to peel back his layers and seeing him as a teammate, as a man, as a father, as a businessman, just soaking up a lot of game from him.”
Barnes and Bryant did develop a friendship after that memorable moment against one another. And Bryant did recruit Barnes to the Lakers in the most Kobe way possible. That likely played a role, potentially big or large, in him looking back fondly on his time with the Lakers.
Realistically, it has to be something like that because it wasn’t due to the success the Lakers had. In his two seasons, the Lakers made the playoffs but were swept by the Mavericks in the second round in his first year and lost in five games to the Thunder in the second round in his second season.
And yet, because Barnes made a habit of jumping from team to team — including playing for every Pacific Division team — the 116 games in purple and gold rank as the third-most for one team in his career.
Kudos to Barnes, though, for finding a path to success after his career ended, allowing him to share some memorable stories about his time with the Lakers and across the league as a whole.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.