Matt Barnes Wanted To Retire With Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings Matt Barnes (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings Matt Barnes (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Matt Barnes had a rocky breakup from the Kings three years ago, but it sounds like he’s buried the hatchet based on his interview with Sean Cunningham.

Former Sacramento Kings player Matt Barnes was featured in an interview with ABC10’s Sean Cunningham over the weekend, and the two touched on a handful of interesting topics. They spoke about the current epidemic, Barnes’ podcast with Stephen Jackson, and cannabis use.

The one thing that stood out in the ears of Kings fans was when he talked about both of his short tenures in his hometown of Sacramento.

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Barnes described how both stints started off well but were cut short at the trade deadline, and how he was a kind of middle man between management and DeMarcus Cousins during the trade rumors some three-plus years ago. But the most interesting tidbit was when he spoke on his initial vision for his final contract.

"“I’m thinking ‘Hey, I’m going to sign a three-year deal here. I’m going to retire here…we got a brand new arena. I’m going to try and help get this team to the playoffs for the first time in a long time, truly bring some excitement to Sacramento.”"

He lasted until the All-Star Break in 2017 before he was waived in the wake of the Cousins trade, which is something that he touched on as well.

Were the Kings smart to let Barnes go? Probably. He was a part of what Sacramento considered to be the old regime, and neither side was interested in his presence for a rebuild. The team wanted to get younger, and a 38-year old wing wasn’t something that they were willing to spend a roster spot on.

It worked out for both sides, to a degree. The Kings got younger and “changed the culture”, and Barnes went on to get a championship ring with the Golden State Warriors. Sacramento would end up using the stretch provision on his contract, which paid him through the end of this season.

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Barnes capped off the interview by displaying his affection for the city where he grew up, and even said that he wanted to come back some day and run for mayor of Sacramento. We’ll see about that when the time comes, but for now it is refreshing to hear that Barnes has buried the hatchet in what was a turbulent breakup.