The image of Barnes remaining on the bench and cheering for his ex-Mavericks teammates after learning about the deal is one of the enduring pictures of this year’s frenzied trade deadline. The seventh-year forward lets fans in on the whirlwind experience that happened after he left the arena.
“I went home that night. I was talking to my wife. Phone is blowing up. All of a sudden, I hear from my agent. Boom. You’re on a flight the next morning at 9 a.m.,” Barnes said. “You land. Boom. You do physicals. Friday morning I’m in the shootaround with the Sacramento Kings. That night, I’m playing the game. I’m playing at the end of the game and I don’t know the plays. I’m just playing hard. I’m running around. That’s just how quick things can change in 48 hours. One night I’m in Dallas and then the next night I’m in a Sacramento Kings uniform.”
Barnes addresses several other topics during the discussion, including:
- Being traded into a playoff race: “The biggest takeaway from it is that things happen in this league. Bizarre things happen. The biggest thing that I’m excited about now is that I’m playing for a team that has a chance to make the postseason. The last couple years it’s been difficult not being a part of the postseason. What’s exciting now is that every game there is so much on the line to make the postseason. That’s where my energy is right now.”
- What the playoffs would mean for the Kings, who are a game out of eighth place entering tonight: “For the young guys that can see their careers catapulted, just experiencing what that postseason would be like. What it means to really get to that next level and to be an opportunity. The second thing is when an organization like this has been through a lot of turmoil, who hasn’t been to the playoffs since ’06, that would mean a lot, just for all of the sacrifices that the organization and team has made to get to where it is, the coaches. Everyone’s put in the work.”
- His memories from two and a half years with the Mavericks: “Dallas was a chance to learn under a championship pedigree. Learning underneath Rick Carlisle, to be around Dirk [Nowitzki] and to learn from him, to have a chance to have a bigger role and to see what I can do on the court to produce at a high level, I’m definitely appreciative of the opportunity that I had there.”