Latest On Matt Barnes, DeMarcus Cousins

Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins have been sued in federal court by two people who claim they were assaulted by the players this week in a New York nightclub, relays A.J. Perez of USA Today. The plaintiffs contend they suffered “severe personal injuries” and had to be treated at a hospital after the incident around 3 a.m. Monday. The monetary amount of the suit has not been released, but it has to be more than $75K to be heard in federal court.

Police have obtained the security footage, but haven’t been able to discern much because of low lighting in the club, reports Carmichael Dave of CBS Sacramento. No charges have been filed against either player. Witnesses have said that Barnes was knocked to the ground by several people on his way to a VIP area, and Cousins came to his defense. Both players were escorted out of the club.

There’s more news on the altercation and its fallout:

  • Trouble has followed Barnes throughout his NBA career, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee, who adds that it was a mistake for the Kings to reacquire him and assign him “the unofficial duties of mentoring Cousins.” The columnist says it gives the organization a bad image at a time when it is trying to focus on the positive news of opening a new arena. She cites Barnes’ long list of NBA suspensions, along with domestic violence charges that were later dropped, a misdemeanor arrest for resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer and last year’s fight with former Knicks coach Derek Fisher. Sacramento gave Barnes a two-year, $12MM deal to rejoin the team in July.
  • The Kings have hired an independent investigator to look into the incident, Voisin writes in the same piece. The NBA’s security staff is also conducting an investigation.
  • The fight may strengthen the argument of people who believe the Kings should trade Cousins, but it’s still a difficult decision, contends Chris Mannix of The Vertical. It’s hard to part with a player who is putting up 28.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per night, but the Kings have to decide how likely Cousins is to leave when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2018. His trade value will only decline after the February 23rd deadline passes, Mannix states.
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