Matt Barnes is a former NBA player known as a journeyman, having played for seven different teams in his 14-year career in the league. He is most (in)famous for off the court incidents but has also been remarkable on it, winning his first and only NBA Championship as a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2017, his final season.
Matt Barnes was born on March 9, 1980, in Santa Clara, California to a Caucasian mother and an African-American father. He attended Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks California where he excelled in both American football and basketball, participating heavily on both teams for the school. He earned All-American, All-State, All-City, and All-League honors in both sports.
Barnes went on to play college basketball instead of football for the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, he played four seasons, completing his college program before turning professional. In his final year, he was an All-Pacific-10 Honorable Mention selection.
He declared for the 2002 NBA Draft and was selected with the 46th overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, however, immediately traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers who in turn assigned him to the NBA’s Development League. He joined the Fayetteville Patriots for the 2002–03 season.
The following year, Barnes signed with the Long Beach Jam, a semi-professional men’s basketball team under the American Basketball Association (ABA). He played alongside Dennis Rodman in the team and was able to steer to the ABA Championship. In the 2003-04 season, the Los Angeles Clippers offered him a contract.
That was the beginning of his journeyman career as the next year, he signed for the Sacramento Kings and despite being able to establish himself as a key rotation player, was halfway through the season, traded again to the Philadelphia 76ers. Injuries stopped him from playing any role with the team before he was given an injury release.
For the 2005-06 season, Barnes signed a free agent contract with the New York Knicks. He had an impressive start to the season but was again, looked over after just six games. The 76ers came in for him again and he finished the season there.
Barnes was torn between continuing his dwindling NBA career or to go and have a try-out on an NFL team having excelled as a wide receiver in high school. He gave basketball one more try and between 2006 and 2008, he found some stability after he signed with the Golden State Warriors. He was given good playing time with the team which resulted in him raising his profile in the league. In December 2006, he was able to tie the franchise’s record of most three-point shots made with seven three-point field goals.
His shot accuracy from behind the arc as well as his whole offensive game improved immensely in his first season with the team. He played in 76 games and averaged 9.8pts per game. Barnes looked like he was made for the limelight as he helped his team, the eighth seed in the Western Conference to defeat the Dallas Mavericks who were ranked number one in the 2007 playoffs.
His performance earned him another one-year contract with the team and he was also named the captain of the team alongside teammates Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis.
After his second season with the Warriors, he signed one-year contracts with the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He extended his stay with the Lakers for another year before rejoining his former team, Lakers rivals Clippers. He was most notably named Defensive Player of the Year for the Clippers in 2013.
In 2015, Barnes returned to the team that drafted him, Memphis Grizzlies, following a trade. He then had a stint at the Kings before heading back to the Bay Area to join the Warriors again following an injury to Kevin Durant. With the team, he was able to win an NBA Championship before calling it a day on his career.
Family (Wife, Kids, Divorce)
Matt Barnes was married to Gloria Govan, a reality TV actress who appeared in VH1’s Basketball Wives and Basketball Wives: LA. The couple has twin boys together; Isaiah Michael and Carter Kelly.
Barnes’ marital problems were well publicized as his wife accused him of domestic violence. He also got into a physical altercation with his former teammate, Dereck Fisher, who was reportedly dating his estranged wife when he found him at Govan’s home.
After two years of marriage, they separated in 2014.
Matt Barnes Net Worth (Salary)
Matt Barnes is estimated to be worth around $10 million. This is thanks to the salary he has earned throughout his professional basketball career.
He has currently embarked on some interesting projects, including a bedding company and a production company working on films after promising to be a billionaire before the age of 50. He also does a lot of philanthropic activities. He started a foundation, Athletes vs. Cancer, in honour of his late mother who passed away in 2007, a few days after being diagnosed with the disease.
Quick Facts (Measurements, Height)
Birth Name: Matt Kelly Barnes
Birth Place: Santa Clara, California, United States
Date of Birth: March 9, 1980
Weight: 226 lbs (103 kg)
Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Marital Status: Divorced
Occupation: Professional Basketball Player (Retired)
Education: University of California, Los Angeles