In a story first reported by TMZ, Barnes is accused of choking a woman and assaulting two other people who tried to intervene. He offered an explanation in a statement today on his Instagram account, posting, “There’s always two sides to a story.. The side the media consistently tries to paint of me…. And what actually happened! Don’t believe everything you read.”
The confrontation took place early this morning at the Avenue Nightclub, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Barnes said he was slapped by a women he “accidentally butt bumped” as he headed toward the VIP section, then claims he was knocked to the floor by several men, one of whom tried to choke him.
TMZ reports that teammate DeMarcus Cousins came to Barnes’ defense. Cousins claims he doesn’t know what started the incident, but said someone tried to choke Barnes.
Barnes’ attorney, Alex Spiro, sent an email to the Sacramento Bee proclaiming his client’s innocence.
“We do not believe a crime was committed,” Spiro wrote. “We are cooperating with law enforcement and are hopeful no charges will be pressed.”
The 36-year-old Barnes has become a valuable team leader since rejoining the Kings this summer. He is averaging 7.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists through 20 games.
The team released a statement this afternoon, saying, “We have clear standards of conduct and behavior expected of the entire Kings organization – on and off the court. We are working with all parties involved to gather information in order to take any appropriate next steps.”