NBA Broadcaster Terminated After Incident

Ex-NBA Star Barnes in Controversial Broadcast Altercation.

by Nouman Rasool
NBA Broadcaster Terminated After Incident
© JC Olivera/Getty Images

In a significant development within sports broadcasting, NBC Sports California has officially ended its relationship with former NBA star Matt Barnes, removing him from his role as an analyst for Sacramento Kings game coverage.

This decision comes in the wake of a controversial altercation involving Barnes and a high school student announcer during a basketball game, a story first reported by The Sacramento Bee. Barnes, who had been serving as a pregame and postgame analyst for the Kings' broadcasts, found himself at the center of a contentious episode while attending his son's basketball game.

The incident, which gained considerable attention, involved Barnes confronting a student announcer after he commented on a game delay caused by Barnes disputing referees' decisions. Caught on video, the altercation showed Barnes in a heated exchange with Jake Lancer, the student announcer identified by the Los Angeles Times.

Lancer recounted that Barnes threatened him during their confrontation, a claim that later led to widespread criticism of Barnes' behaviour.

Barnes Clarifies Incident

Attempting to clarify the situation, Barnes appeared on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, admitting his involvement in the dispute but offering a different perspective on the events.

He confessed to rebuking the referees and explained his reaction to what he perceived as a disrespectful comment from Lancer, while also acknowledging the inappropriateness of his physical response. Despite Barnes' explanation, video evidence and witness accounts did not support his version of the incident.

In fact, Harvard-Westlake School, where the game took place, issued a statement commending Lancer for his composure during the altercation. Beyond his analyst role, Barnes has made notable strides in the media industry. His podcast, All The Smoke, co-hosted with Stephen Jackson, has seen success and recently entered a partnership with Le Batard and Meadowlark Media.

Additionally, Barnes announced the creation of All The Smoke Productions alongside former Showtime Sports executive Brian Dailey, indicating his continued influence in sports media despite the recent setback.