Matt Barnes appeared on SportsNation yesterday. During that appearance, Barnes was confronted with footage of himself challenging Serge Ibaka during a Clippers-Thunder game. Here's what Barnes had to say:
"Me and Serge could fight right now, if he was here. I just don't like him."
When asked what it was about Serge that rubbed him the wrong way, Barnes explained:
"He's got that air about him, that he's the toughest guy on the planet. But he's not. ... We can see it, I don't have a problem talking about it. ... My thing with the NBA is, people definitely don't want to fight. But when I do get 'em, they have to swing first. Because the NBA's going to try to bury me if I swing first."
SportsNation wasted no time posting Barnes' remarks to Twitter, where Ibaka was able to craft his own response.
Could we be seeing Barnes and Ibaka in the UFC ring together any time soon? I doubt it, simply because both players have too much at stake physically. We have seen this kind of thing before in the NBA, though. Remember when Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone wrestled each other at a WCW event back in 1998?
Ibaka and Barnes have a history of confrontation. Back on November 13th, 2013, both players were ejected from the late second quarter of a Thunder-Clipper game for shoving.
If you want more perspective on where Serge Ibaka and Matt Barnes come from, they both have very interesting documentaries online. Serge Ibaka's Son of the Congo gives a great perspective on what it took for Serge Ibaka to come to the NBA. Also, a VICE short entitled Matt Barnes is No Damn Phony shows how Barnes had to overcome the streets at a young age. Both Barnes and Ibaka clearly had to make a lot of sacrifices to make the NBA, and both desperately want a championship on their resume.