Report: Lakers’ Barnes punches player
Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes allegedly punched another player in the face while playing in a pro-am game in the second summer league scuffle involving an NBA player in a week, according to KGO-TV.
Barnes was playing in San Francisco’s Kezar Pavilion on Thursday for a team named the Dream Team against another called East Bay. Barnes allegedly swung and made contact with an Easy Bay player.
Referees apparently did not see Barnes’ punch and did not eject him, KGO-TV reported. Barnes did not deny punching the player, however, in a subsequent interview.
"He elbowed me and pushed me, so he got one," Barnes told ESPN, while denying he instigated the altercation.
Barnes averaged 6.7 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field in an injury-plagued season with the Lakers last year.
The news of Barnes’ alleged punch in San Francisco comes after Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley was involved in an altercation in a streetball tournament in Dyckman Park in New York City Thursday.
Beasley allegedly pushed a heckling fan in the face before being pulled away by security guards without further incident.
NBA players are currently being locked out by their teams’ owners in a labor dispute over how to divide the league’s $4 billion in revenue. NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said Wednesday that he was pessimistic about whether the NBA would play any portion of its 2011-12 season.