“I can’t believe people think I was some maniac driving 95 miles and listening to Tupac to go beat somebody up,” Barnes told ESPN. “No. I live 15 minutes away and I was going over to check on my kids because they seemed uncomfortable. That was my main reason for going over there.”
Barnes said he traveled from his home in Marina del Rey, just 20 miles outside of L.A., and not Santa Barbara, where the Grizzlies training camp ended earlier in the day, after talking to his sons on FaceTime.
“This wasn’t a phone call. We were on FaceTime. I could see him and the look on his face,” Barnes said, noting one of his sons was specifically upset because “mommy’s friend Derek” was there.
That the man was his former Los Angeles Lakers teammates and current New York Knicks coach, wasn’t the issue, Barnes said. He said what upset his kids, and thus him, was that there was any other man in their house.
Barnes admitted the situation escalated, but did not go into details about how.
Previous reports noted neither Barnes nor Fisher were seriously injured in the alleged scrap, but Fisher did suffer minor scratches. It is unclear whether Fisher plans to press charges.
“We were close. We were friends,” Barnes told ESPN of his relationship with Fisher. “Some things have happened to change that. It is what it is.”
Meanwhile, Fisher has not commented directly on the incident. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Knicks coach said, “Personal and private matters are personal and private.”
Both the front offices of the Grizzlies and the Knicks are aware of the incident. It’s unclear whether there will be any consequences for either man going forward.