Free-agent forward Matt Barnes, who played the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, was arrested late Monday night on an outstanding misdemeanor traffic warrant and for allegedly threatening a police officer.
Barnes, a nine-year NBA veteran, was apprehended “as he was walking on a busy thoroughfare in the city about 20 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles,” according to the Associated Press.
Manhattan Beach police Lt. Steve Tobias said Barnes was uncooperative when he was stopped by police — and that Barnes was going to be booked for allegedly threatening the officer, which is a felony.
Authorities said the warrant was for driving on a suspended license.
According to City News Service, Barnes was arrested by an officer who was aware that the 32-year-old forward had an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor traffic offense. According to NBC Los Angeles, Barnes had not paid a $26,000 warrant.
He paid that, plus the remaining $25,000 in bail, and was released from the Manhattan Beach Police Department’s jail just before midnight Pacific time.
In September 2010, two months after the Lakers signed him to a two-year, $3.67 million deal, Barnes was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Then-fiancee Gloria Govan disputed the booking at the time, and Barnes ultimately was not charged in connection with that incident.
The Los Angles Times reported earlier this month that the Lakers are not expected to re-sign Barnes, preferring instead to go with 23-year-old forward Devin Ebanks. Barnes did not provide the Lakers with the consistent energy and defensive effort it expected from him.
He had a chance to solidify his role with the team when Metta World Peace was out serving a lengthy suspension. But Barnes got in foul trouble and was anemic on offense.
He is probably among the top 20 remaining free agents, but NBA team had shown much interest in procuring the services of the veteran swingman, who has also played with the Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. Surely this latest arrest will not be looked at favorably to teams.