Matt Barnes is one of the more iconic NBA players of his generation both on and off the court.
Although he is something of an acquired taste, there is no denying that Barnes is tapped into basketball players’ mentalities in a way few others are.
That is part of the reason why he has enjoyed so much success in his post-playing career.
Recently, Barnes delved into something of a complicated topic: why so many NBA players seem to dislike Phoenix Suns star and future Hall of Famer Chris Paul.
“Chris is a throwback point guard from the standpoint that he’s not gonna tell you what you want to hear, he’s gonna tell you what you need to hear,” Barnes said.
“And I think sometimes, his delivery is off. But, what he’s saying, nine out of 10 times is right. It wouldn’t be so much cussing, it would just be like he talking, he’s a talker. He’s always going to kind to tell you what he wants, what he sees, what he needs, all that sh*t.”
In a lot of ways, people today simply aren’t used to the way the game was played when Paul originally started playing it. Back when he was drafted in 2005, basketball was a lot different.
“Me being older than him, I just come from an era where you could yell at me and if I’ll have to yell back at you, I will, but you know, I’m out here, I’m with you, bro,” Barnes continued.
“And I just think the disconnect sometimes with CP and younger players is just his delivery, because young players have been kind of so coddled in this new era where you say something wrong, and some of these motherf***kers will get you fired…
“These younger players have been given so much so fast–I’m not saying they’re not talented, they’ve been just given a lot fast, so it’s just like when someone who’s kind of a throwback personality is barking at you, some motherf***kers don’t like it.”
Obviously some people, like Los Angeles Lakers star Patrick Beverley, would disagree with Barnes’ assessment.
Beverly has made it abundantly clear why he dislikes Paul – and it has nothing to do with the reasons Barnes listed.
Russ sent Lakers fans a clear message with his hat. https://t.co/qt7lLxwOBx
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 6, 2023
But there is still some truth to Barnes’ words.
How will fans and history ultimately look back upon Paul once he hangs up his kicks for good?
An answer to that question will likely present itself in the next few years.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.