Matt Barnes sat down with Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner on The Point Forward Podcast this week to discuss Barnes’ career in the NBA, and share a fascinating insight about his relationship with Iguodala.
The first round of the 2014 Western Conference playoffs was a flashpoint. It was just before the Warriors’ dominance, while the Clippers were still trying to assert themselves as a major threat. Neither Barnes, nor Iguodala were the stars of their respective teams, but they became the x-factors of the series.
Barnes and Iguodala dueled mercilessly, and from the outside it looked like the pair truly hated each other — but when they joined forced on the Warriors later in their careers they became really close friends.
How the pair remember that 2014 series is absolutely correct. While Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were the core stars of the Clippers, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the Warriors — whoever won the duel between Barnes and Iguodala won the the game. It was less about stuffing the stats sheet and more focused on keeping each other in check. Whoever was able to play more of a role went on to win.
This moment in the podcast also undercuts how we misunderstand players who seem to “hate” each other on the court. At the end of the day even the most heated moments are just another day at the office, and the most brutal competitors are really friends when the dust settles.
It was a happy ending for Iguodala and Barnes. The pair would win an NBA Championship together with the Warriors in 2016-17 in Barnes’ final season in the league.