Matt Barnes has revealed he initially stood up for Ime Udoka as he did not believe the disgraced Boston Celtics coach deserved the same punishment as Robert Sarver

Retired NBA forward Matt Barnes has revealed he initially stood up for Ime Udoka as he did not believe the disgraced Boston Celtics coach deserved the same punishment as Suns owner Robert Sarver. 

Udoka was handed a one-year suspension for breaching team policies amid rumors he had a consensual relationship with a female staffer. 

Meanwhile, Sarver was given a one-year suspension and $10 million fine after an NBA probe found he had used the N-word around employees, bullied workers, and committed several other misogynistic acts.

Barnes, 42, originally slammed Udoka’s suspension last week, only to reverse course when he learned the ‘all the facts,’ which he says are ‘100 times uglier than any of us thought.’

He has now claimed that he already knew Sarver ‘ain’t s**t’ before the NBA investigation into the Suns owner after his time with the franchise and claimed Sarver’s actions and Udoka’s were not the same.  

‘Obviously being around the league you know what Robert Sarver is about,’ he said in a preview video of Showtime Basketball’s full “Certified Smoke” 2022-23 NBA season preview.

‘You know, I played there. The second I left, it was just like, “this motherf****r’ ain’t s**t”. I was thinking it but I could properly say it once I left. “This motherf****r’ ain’t s**t,” I knew it. 

‘And that’s kinda the reason I jumped out on a limb for Ime cause to me when I first seen it, what made me jump out on a limb was, “damn these motherf****rs got the same suspension”. To me, what Robert Sarver did was racism, sexism, all the s**t he did. So, that’s what made me jump out there. 

Matt Barnes has revealed he initially stood up for Ime Udoka as he did not believe the disgraced Boston Celtics coach deserved the same punishment as Robert Sarver

Udoka was handed a one-year suspension for breaching team policies amid rumors he had a consensual relationship with a female staffer

Matt Barnes (left) has revealed he initially stood up for Ime Udoka (right) as he did not believe the disgraced Boston Celtics coach deserved the same punishment as Robert Sarver

Sarver was given a one-year suspension and $10 million fine after an NBA probe found he had used the N-word around employees, bullied workers, and committed misogynistic acts

Sarver was given a one-year suspension and $10 million fine after an NBA probe found he had used the N-word around employees, bullied workers, and committed misogynistic acts

‘Each team is like a big reality show, what goes on behind closed doors is everyone’s business so when I first heard Udoka’s situation I was like “that’s not really that big of a deal and it’s definitely not as big as Sarver.”

‘So when I decided to go and post that . I had people in my DMs going, “what do you think about it”, so I decided to speak on it. Not even two minutes later I get a phone call like “bro, this what happened.” And I’m like, “Damn.”

‘So to me, my whole thing with jumping out there was like tying to have his back. What I thought had happened is fairly normal, not just amongst the NBA but just business in general.

‘But when I heard what happened it took me back for a second but at the same time it’s still just not the same. So I had to backpedal.’

Barnes claimed he initially thought Udoka's situation was 'not really that big of a deal'

Barnes claimed he initially thought Udoka’s situation was ‘not really that big of a deal’ 

On Friday, it was revealed that an independent law firm probe into Udoka found that he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman.

Investigative findings into the coach revealed that Udoka used language that has been deemed ‘concerning coming from a workplace superior’. 

It is likely to have significantly factored into his one-year suspension and contribute to making it especially difficult for Udoka to be reinstated as Celtics coach in 2023, according to ESPN. 

An investigation into the  Boston Celtics head coach revealed that  he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate before beginning an affair with the woman

An investigation into the  Boston Celtics head coach revealed that  he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate before beginning an affair with the woman

In a self-shot Instagram video last week, Barnes backtracked on his initial thoughts and explained that he deleted his previous post criticizing the decision because he learned more information.

‘Without knowing all the facts, I spoke on Ime Udoka’s defense, and after finding out the facts after I spoke, I erased what I posted because this situation in Boston is deep, it’s messy, it’s 100 times uglier than any of us thought,’ Barnes said to the camera while driving his car.

‘And that’s why I erased what I said. Some things happened that I can’t condone, I can’t back, and it’s not my place to tell you what happened. If it ends up coming out, it ends up coming out. But that was the reason why I erased my post last night, because after I posted it, I got a call from someone who had all the details, and s*** is deep.’

Barnes went on to say that he hopes that the blogs that picked up his first post on the subject see that he’s walking back his criticism of the Celtics.

‘I saw a lot of blogs picked up what I said, even though it was only on the page for like two minutes, so hopefully they pick this up too, for me being wrong and jumping out there without the facts,’ he said.

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