Matt Barnes always seems to find himself at the center of controversy, and he's back at it again after being arraigned Friday for assault charges stemming from a December incident at a New York nightclub.
The New York Post shared crazy details from a New York courthouse on Friday afternoon, including Barnes' refusal to accept an additional civil suit he was served upon walking into the building. But the strangest part of the ordeal stems from an exchange between Barnes' attorney, Alex Spiro, and Judge Herbert Moses. In working to arrange a trial date, Spiro balked at the initial request for a mid-June trial:
Judge Herbert Moses asked Spiro if his client could return to court in mid-June.
Spiro quipped that Barnes might be unavailable.
“I have reason to believe my client will be playing in the NBA Finals,” he said.
“Good luck,” the judge said before giving Barnes a June 27 return date.
The implication is clear: Barnes, who recently signed with the Golden State Warriors following an injury to star forward Kevin Durant, expects to play in the NBA Finals. This year's Finals begin on June 1 and have an end date no later than June 18, so writing off any date in June for a professional commitment can only have one series in mind.
What may be the bigger surprise is a judge humoring the request at all. While most people will draw comparisons to their normal job — an accountant who committed assault probably wouldn't get away with pushing their court date past tax season — not even NBA players are always afforded this privilege. After being charged with sexual assault in the summer of 2003, Kobe Bryant was forced to fly back and forth between Colorado and Los Angeles to attend mid-season hearings over the course of the next year.
Barnes getting leeway here in light of his violent history is a pretty shocking turn of events, but those extra couple weeks probably won't make a difference in determining his guilt. He'll have his day in court, even if it has to wait for the playoffs to end first.
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