October 6th 2005: The New York Knicks sign Matt Barnes
10 years (maybe even close to the date) before driving 95 miles to beat up one of his former teammates (and future Knick coach), the New York Knicks signed Matt Barnes to a preseason contract. Barnes spent his first two seasons in his home state of California, playing for both the Los Angeles Clippers & Sacramento Kings.
Barnes impressed the Knicks and coach Larry Brown with his scrappiness and defensive effort. His play even led to winning the starting small forward role at the beginning of the year. However, Larry Brown’s odd rotations led Barnes to the bench. Before the DNPs, Barnes was able to start in his hometown of Sacramento, a theme that permeated during Larry Brown’s coaching tenure.
A sore foot injury forced Barnes onto the inactive list and the Knicks waived Barnes in early December to open up a roster spot. Barnes quickly signed with the Philadelphia 76ers and then immediately became a rotation mainstay a year later after signing with the Golden State Warriors.
Barnes became a more consistent mainstay in the rotation after his Knicks tenure. His Golden State Warriors’ tenure helped rejuvenate the team during the “We Believe” era. He was a key cog on the 2010 Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic roster. He later played for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers alongside Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin. He retired after winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2017.
Knicks Film School Historian, amongst other things