Years ago, Matt Barnes got into an altercation with former teammate Derek Fisher upon hearing that he was with his ex-wife and two kids.
However, the two have reconciled since then because Barnes’ sons have expressed their love for Fisher.
“But when Barnes’ sons told him they love Derek and wanted them to be friends,” wrote Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “Barnes had to be tough enough to forgive. When Fisher showed up to one of the boys’ games, he and Barnes stepped aside and had a hard conversation. The kind real ones have.”
Barnes shared what his conversation with Fisher was like when the pair made peace.
“I know it was a tough situation,” Barnes said he told Fisher. “You can’t help who you fall for. But there’s definitely a way you could have handled it. You could have come to me and been a man and we could have avoided a lot. I wouldn’t have liked it, but I would have definitely respected it. Because like I said, at the end of the day, my ex is beautiful, she’s gonna move on and find someone. So that happens to be you. That’s a tough conversation, but it’s better. It’s better than the alternative where I have to track you down and put hands on you.”
Barnes, 40, played briefly with Fisher on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, both players are retired and chasing different goals.
Fisher, who won five championships with the Lakers during his playing career, has picked up coaching since calling it quits. He coached the New York Knicks for a season and a half before getting fired.
The former point guard now coaches the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA.
As for Barnes, he is producing podcasts alongside former NBA veteran Stephen Jackson.