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Summer Lovin', featuring Kobe Bryant and Matt Barnes

Jul 26, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Mbarnes.jpgMatt Barnes has an incredible tendency to get on his opponents’ nerves, and it’s easy to understand why. Barnes never stops talking. He’s no stranger to the hard foul or the occasional cheap shot. He holds, he pushes, he yaps, and he plays hard. That’s not the kind of thing that makes for an ideal opponent, and it’s safe to say that during his time with the Magic, Barnes got under the skin of a few notable Lakers.

All water under the bridge, as time — or really, free agency — heals all wounds. Barnes, while on Into the Night with Tony Bruno on Fox Sports Radio, had this to say about his current relationship with Bryant (as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews, link via Marcel Mutoni):

“Kobe has been the driving force behind this.  I have been talking to Kobe back and forth like we were boyfriend and girlfriend for the last two weeks and sending us texts and talking.  It feels good when you have the best player in the world in your corner and Kobe is definitely in my corner.  He sent me a crazy text message today saying something like, anyone crazy enough to mess with me is crazy enough to play with me.  So I think that was a good tone to set and I think I am ready to be a Laker.”

These are good times in Los Angeles. Andrew Bynum is on the mend, the Lakers picked up a few helpful free agents to add to their championship core, and Bryant and Barnes have been texting sweet nothings to one another late into the night. We knew the Lakers were going to be good next season, but throw in Barnes for good measure, and L.A. has a much-improved bench.   

  1. J.G - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Kobe = best player = notttttttt!!! everybody knows who is the best player

  2. Tim - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Seems you don’t j.g

  3. RA - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Oh! I know who the best player is …. and it’s KOBE and not even close for anyone else.

  4. Tim - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Thank you RA

  5. RA_ for president - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    well said

  6. dthomas - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    J.G, I’m gonna go with the guy who works on his game 24/365 and wins championships.

  7. T.P. - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Hilarious. J.G. are you stuttering there on your “t”. Sound it out, tell me how it really comes out.
    Best player – Kobe. You know how “ballers” measure the best player….Titles. Kobe 5, James – 0.
    At the end of the upcoming season, it will be Kobe 6, James – 0, and Apple will be releasing the next version of the James iPhone, you know, the one that only vibrates because it doesn’t have a ring.

  8. Kobe's Summer Vacation - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Kobe is Summer Rapin’

  9. Salty - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    If Michel Jordan says Kobe is the best player. I’m going with that.

  10. J.G - Jul 26, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Miami 3 superstars , L.A half 1… Miami 3 young all stars, Kobe = decline. off curse MJ gotta say Kobe is the best = Bobcats are on the east coast = 0 chance of winning the next 10 yrs. btw dthomas james and wade dont need to work out summer long, its called Young Skills.

  11. Sal - Jul 26, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    For those non believers that Kobe is the best player, should listen to Jordan about who’s better him or LeBron; then shut up! Now, physically, yes LeBron is in another level,but that can only take you so far. Kobe has what LeBron lacks; A heart of a Champion, guts to do whatever it takes, and that Alpha mentality to rise above the rest. Even Shaq, who was winning Championships with the Black Mamba back in the day would attest to this.

  12. RA - Jul 26, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Statements of a very very young man….

  13. pau gasol - Jul 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    bosh is a superstar? what does that make me? a super duper star?

  14. marko - Jul 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Kobe just wins rings what more is to be said bon head is just a good player that’s all .

  15. bballfan - Jul 26, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    so J.G. since your being so cryptic spell it out who do you say is the best player…let me guess legone james…mr I QUIT, the guy that quit on his teammates in last years playoffs…yeah i said it and anybody that watched it will agree people like mj, kobe, paul pirce any true star doesnt stop playing and turn off his game cuz he know hes bailing to miami at the end of the year, and yeah we all knew dwade bosh and lequit had it planned. so before you go and annoint him the goat make sure you have all your facts straight

  16. LOSERINDAPAINT - Jul 26, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    JG your insane 3 superstars, i really count only 1 superstar dwad but since his injury a couple of years ago he has not been as explosive as he used to be but then compared to most his 80% is still more than most 100%, lebron although athletic never been sold on him being the best bball player hes good maybe even exceptional but star not sold to be honest i dont really think he deserved the mvp the last 2 years durant should have gotten it last year and kobe the year before, but then durant is too new and kobe is an anathema to the press, he doesnt kiss thier ass like lebron, the mvp is supposed to bring his team up to a higher level and obviously he didnt, if he did where are his rings …ouch low blow, and for the record im not a fan of lakers or celtics or any other team i just enjoy bball, i will sy your insulting to all the players today, gasol the guy is a bonafide superstar, dfish although old still superstar, even artest although a fruitcake is a superstar (at least in his own mind) so before you start rating teams get real although they are young (miami) only 1 of them is a superstar and he has a few too many miles on him already. oh and one more thing id love to see lebron take on even a third the injuries kobe has and still play at the level he does everyday

  17. good_ole_ralphy - Jul 26, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    I’m a kobe hater but even i have to admit is the best NBA player around right now. Others may have more potential, but thats where it stands right now.

  18. good_ole_ralphy - Jul 26, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    sorry but i meant to say “I’m a kobe hater but even i have to admit THAT HE is the best NBA player around right now. Others may have more potential, but thats where it stands right now.” And by the way, Kevin Durant is probably #2 right now. DWade is great especially at crunch time so i’d say #3. Lebron is a great talent but way too much flash and powder puff. And he has proved so far that he does not want to be the go-to guy but more the setup guy. So at best he’s #4 right now

  19. Baboso from the west - Jul 26, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Experience over youth anytime… I bet your Lady would agree to that…LOL

  20. chuck - Jul 26, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    I realize there are many many Kobe haters but here is my question. Why does HE get into so much crap with other players. We all know there are many who wouldn’t even consider playing alongside him . Could it be the attitude? Ever wonder if he see’s those ridiculous faces he makes or how dumb he look bitting on his jersey. Or extending his lower teeth. I’m not taking away from his talent but stop with the childish behavior.

  21. TACO PAL - Jul 26, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    its simple, when you are the best, everyone wants to knock you down or take their shot at you. his competitiveness/ attitude go hand in hand with being the best. you dont see these altercations happening with lebron, howard, paul, etc because they dont share kobes attitude and remain buddy buddy with one another. the reason that kobe and the lakers win is because they are all fueled by kobes greatness, attitude, competitiveness, “stupid faces”, or whatever you want to call it. another example is KG. he beats his chest, talks to the the hoop, etc. i hate how he does this, but whatever works. KG is winner.
    for the record, how would you know there are many who whouldnt consider playing beside him? artest and him were going at 2 years ago, now the win together. same with barnes this year.

  22. great addition - Jul 26, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    I think Barnes is a solid defender. He plays with tenacity and will definitely be a great improvement for the bench. I hope Brown resigns too.

  23. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    Player A is the best! No! Player B is the best player! Nu-UH! Player A is. No! B IS! LETS CRAP ON EACHOTHER! HORRAY!

  24. whome - Jul 27, 2010 at 2:02 AM

    actually jg for anyone to say your wrong here for voicing your opinion is not right f themi didnt agree with a lot of things you said but to say lebron will get nothing his entire career well i think he will eventually get his ring where and when i have no idea but he is an incredible athlete just needs to mature. kind of like kobe it took him a while to become the player he is btw i respect kobe but i dont like him as a person not the kind of moral aspect i want my kids growing up idolizing

  25. J.G - Jul 27, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    I had to come back for one more!! I dont like Kobe, but the player I dislike the most is P.Pierce. Kobe is surround by a monster team at this point, Kobe is passed his prime so he wont be avg 27.0 ppg. In the west he only have to battle S.A for the western championship, L.A could be on the finals year after year but Lebron could assist , rebound and Score. watch him play, the guy is a freak of nature. and btw all yall heat haters ( dont be fool ) we have a heck of a team to compete for the next decade.

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