Matt Barnes recently revealed that he never accepted his 2017 Golden State Warriors Finals ring
Imagine being the guy on the bench for a title run with one of the greatest teams in NBA history, the Golden State Warriors of 2017.
You have some impact on the team in that you’re a respected, veteran player. The stars listen to you, despite the fact that you get no rotation minutes in the playoffs.
Given that you’re one of the greatest teams of all time, of course you win a title. You’re given the chance to take your championship ring, do you take it?
If it’s me — Heck yes.
If you’re a crazy high-level competitor like Matt Barnes, though? You don’t take it, and you don’t even mentally count the championship.
Matt Barnes reveals where his Warriors title ring is
Matt Barnes, speaking on the latest episode of his podcast, All The Smoke, mentioned his ring isn’t even in his possession.
"“That ring is still in — shoutout Raymond Ridder, the best media dude, mogul for the Golden State Warriors — that thing is sitting in his office. I don’t count that as a championship.”"
Barnes never took the ring because he didn’t believe he had enough of an impact on the title the Warriors won that season.
"“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. Worst ankle sprain of my life. I’m not healthy until the end of the second round when they’re already 8-0. So me being a vet knowing they’re not going to change the rotation, I’m not expecting them to change the rotation, I’m just going to sit here and be a super vet, cheer these mother fu—ers on, talk to people when they need to be talked to and just enjoy the ride.”"
It was the final year of Barnes’ career, and he played a total of 20 regular-season games with the Warriors after being picked up in the buyout market by the Warriors. In the playoffs, Barnes played just 61 minutes, mostly in garbage time with the Warriors who beat the Cavaliers in five games.
He spoke on why, exactly, he thinks the ring is invalid, citing that he doesn’t think he put the work in to deserve it.
"“I didn’t sweat. I wasn’t in the mother fu—ing dog hole with these dudes. I didn’t get to guard LeBron.”“I got a free ride, I got a free ring.”"
For him, a family man on the decline, looking at the end of his career, he says it was more about the experience for his kids.
"“The best part about it was the twins got to enjoy the ride.”"
Though Barnes might not have had a major stake in the Warriors 2017 title, he still was a part of the team, a veteran voice with an impact on the squad’s mentality heading into a battle with one of the game’s best players in LeBron James.
Furthermore, Barnes played for the Warriors in the “We Believe’ era, averaging 8.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 149 games from 2007 to 2008. It’s not as if Barnes only contributed to the franchise’s efforts for the lone second half of their title-winning season.
Heck, on the way to the title in 2017, the Warriors even honored Barnes and the “We Believe” team before a game.
Pick up your ring, Matt Barnes. You deserve it whether you think so or not.