Matt Barnes trashes Doc Rivers, son Austin, in radio interview

By Alex Butler  |  Jan. 17, 2018 at 1:38 PM
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Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Former Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes isn't holding back in his criticism of former coach Doc Rivers and his son, Austin Rivers.

Barnes, who retired this offseason, played 14 NBA seasons for the Clippers, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.

So he has some NBA experience.

The 37-year-old played for two seasons with Doc Rivers as his coach and one season with Austin Rivers as his teammate.

Barnes was asked Wednesday on Mad Dog Sports Radio about the Houston Rockets and Clippers' latest clash, which occurred on Monday. That skirmish involved Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green, James Harden, Blake Griffin, Austin Rivers and others. Part of the reason for it stemmed from Austin Rivers' exuberance and trash talk during the game, despite the fact that he was sitting on the bench and didn't play.

"To see them coming after Austin is not surprising," Barnes said on the radio show. "Austin kinda rubs people the wrong way. He talks a lot of trash and doesn't really back it up. I think people are probably tired of that."

"I kind of think from the Chris and Blake thing that it has just kinda been an unspoken something. There has been something there. You look since I played with them and it kinda came to a head last night. So it was kinda interesting to sit back and watch as a fan now."

Paul and Griffin were Clippers teammates from 2011 through 2016, before Paul joined the Rockets this offseason in a sign-and-trade. Griffin, who was also a free agent this offseason, opted to stay in Los Angeles. He penned a five-year, $173 million deal in order to stay with the franchise.

Barnes was teammates with Paul and Griffin for three seasons.

"[Austin Rivers] is just very arrogant," Barnes told Mad Dog Sports Radio. "I know him personally. At the beginning, it took a little bit to get used to and then as a teammate you just accept him for who he is and have his back as a teammate. But hearing guys talk around the league and seeing guys who had a problem with him while I was playing, I can see why."

"He carries himself like he's a 10-time All Star and he's not that and that kind of arrogance rubs you the wrong way."

"And then if you're talking trash on top of that, there are some guys that's not gonna have it and I know Trevor is one of 'em."

In his first season with the Clippers, Barnes played under coach Vinny Del Negro. The team finished the season with a 56-26 record, winning the NBA Pacific Division. But the Clippers fell in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, losing the series 4-2 to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Del Negro was fired that offseason. Doc Rivers went 57-25 in his first season at the helm. The Clippers were 56-26 in 2014 and 53-29 in 2015. They dropped to 51-31 in 2016. Doc Rivers' Clippers have never advanced past the Western Conference Semifinals.

"Doc has played a vital role in what I would probably say in the demise of the Clippers," Barnes said.

"Doc would come in to save all and do all," Barnes said. "At the beginning he did well but then I think as players we started seeing through him. Say one thing do another thing. Do things like give his son a bunch of money. Sign his son."

Austin Rivers joined the Clippers in 2015 in a three-team trade. He signed a multi-year contact with the team in July of 2015. He signed three-year, $35 million pact with the Clippers in 2016. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft is averaging a career-high 15.8 points, 3.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds this season.

"As players, that's the kind of stuff you talk about and like I said, from J.J. [Redick] to Chris to myself, the guys on the team still. Like I said...you've seen the best of the Clippers the way they are built and as they stand now."

The NBA is investigating Monday's incident between the Clippers and Rockets.

"Let's put it like this, our team was in our locker room," Doc Rivers told reporters after Monday's game. "That's all I'll say. I'll let you do the rest of the investigation. I will say their entire team was not in their locker room. You're going to have to figure it out from there."

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