Matt Barnes capped his 14-year NBA career in storybook fashion. After being put on waivers by the Sacramento Kings, he was picked up by the Golden State Warriors for the stretch run and was part of the 2017 team that defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
But Barnes doesn’t consider himself an NBA champion. In fact, he never even picked up his championship ring.
CORONAVIRUS & SPORTS: Get the latest news and information right in your inbox. Sign up here.
NBA JERSEY POWER RANKINGS:Lakers reign supreme among league’s best designs
On his “All the Smoke” podcast last week, Barnes revealed (around the 1:09:00 mark) the ring is still sitting in the office of Golden State vice president of communications Raymond Ridder.
“I came in when (Kevin Durant) went down, playing a consistent 20-25 minutes. The game KD comes back, I get hurt maybe a week before the playoffs and I’m out of it,” Barnes said. “I got a free ride, I got a free ring.”
Barnes averaged 5.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 20.5 minutes per game in the 20 regular-season games he played with the Warriors that year.
But it was a different story in the playoffs.
“I didn’t sweat … I didn’t get to guard LeBron (James),” he said. With Durant fully recovered, Barnes played just 61 minutes in 12 playoff games.
And for that reason, he concluded: “I don’t count that as a championship.”