Memphis Grizzlies star Matt Barnes is stepping forward with his side of the story to Saturday's altercation with New York Knicks head coach and former teammate Derek Fisher. In an account given to ESPN, he insisted he went to ex-wife Gloria Govan's home to simply check on his 6-year-old twin sons.
Barnes claimed the incident began at around 10 p.m. when he received a text from his son Carter that concerned him. He recalled:
"'I'm like, first of all, why are you still up? It's like 10 o'clock at night,' Barnes said. 'So I text back, 'I love you and I miss you too.' Then I FaceTimed him. I'm just like, 'Hey, what's up buddy?''
'Now, Carter is like the rambunctious one. He's always jumping off the walls. And when I saw his face, he was just sitting there, and I knew something was wrong. I was like, 'What's wrong, Carter?' and he shook his head, 'No.' Then he lays his head down on the couch, puts a pillow in front of his face and says, 'Mommy's friend Derek is here.'
'This wasn't a phone call. We were on FaceTime. I could see him and the look on his face.'"
Barnes said he then spoke to his other son, Isaiah, and found it best to drive over to Govan's home to assess the situation. He said things escalated from there, but declined to go into further detail because of possible litigation.
As far as rumors about Barnes driving 95 miles to confront Fisher, he said those reports were false. He explained that he lives 15 minutes away from Govan and the family had traveled together from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles earlier that day after Barnes completed training camp with the Grizzlies.
"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 also made mention of his friendship with Fisher, which has since gone south.
"We were close. We were friends," Barnes said. "Some things have happened to change that. It is what it is."
Authorities have confirmed that officers responded to an incident involving Barnes, Fisher and Govan, but no charges will be filed.
Fisher and Govan have yet to go into detail about Saturday night's events.
(Photos from left: Harry How/Getty Images, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)