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Matt Barnes details uncomfortable atmosphere on Clippers plane as takeoff was delayed until trade deadline passed

Feb 21, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six Getty Images

It’s not uncommon for NBA players to find out they’ve been traded under somewhat unusual circumstances; we’ve heard of players waking up from naps to discover they’ve been dealt, or even finding out from a teammate once a flight had landed.

But the Clippers created an extremely uncomfortable situation for their players on Thursday that seemed to be unnecessary.

The team plane was loaded up for a trip to Memphis, but it sat on the ground as conversations apparently went on right up until the deadline about potential deals involving one or more of the team’s players. Matt Barnes was a name that surfaced late as a potential piece in a trade for Iman Shumpert, and he explained in detail what it was like to be stuck on the plane sweating it out.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

With each minute that extended past their scheduled departure time, the tensions began to grow as players who were rumored to be traded, refreshed the Twitter pages on their smart phone and checked text messages.

“The plane was a sweatbox today,” said Matt Barnes, who was prominent in trade talks with the New York Knicks for Iman Shumpert. “It’s just a business and it’s tough. We sat on that plane for almost two hours looking around in silence, looking at Twitter.

“No one was really talking. We were looking around and the captain said [the delay was caused by] bad weather and we’re like, ‘Yeah, bulls—, we’re waiting for that trade deadline.’ I’m just glad it’s over.”

The plane actually did begin to move right before the deadline, but once deals were agreed upon involving Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens, it was stopped so those players could get off.

The Clippers don’t have the best reputation as an organization, but things are changing. They now have a good team filled with excellent players, and Doc Rivers is well-respected in his profession. But it just seems like this whole thing could have been handled differently in order to make the situation far less stressful.

  1. cakemixa - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Crazy idea here, but maybe schedule the flight to depart an hour or two after the trade deadline?

    • zeedoubleyou - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      C’mon now. You know Donald Sterling was going to book the earlier flight if it saved him 50 cents.

      • dablakdrphil - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        LMAO @zeedoubleyou

        @cakemixa You know common sense and Donald Sterling don’t always go hand in hand

      • dannymac17 - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        its actually more expensive to book a plane sooner rather than later. So he would have saved 50 cents.

  2. asimonetti88 - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Same old Clippers

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      They blow away the pathetic Lakers.

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      • loungefly74 - Feb 21, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        LOL. that is funny. shall we recap the entire existence of the Clippers organization? Sorry, holmes, a few good years now does not erase the fact that the organization dished out the poo-poo platter to its fans the past 30+ years…dude, ya get that? shessh.

  3. raidmagic - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    I bet the traded players are happy after the fact to not have been on that flight. At least they didn’t sit for a few hours flying somewhere just to be shuttled onto another plane and wisked away again.

  4. alfiemonstaa - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    WOW! really!!

    im nervous everyday at work about not to getting laid off!

    these guys act like theyre about to lose their job! really!

    youre still geting paid regardless! so shut up and deal with it!

    • alfiemonstaa - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      *not getting laid off

    • shaner329 - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      When you’re potentially being traded from the Clippers to the Knicks, you have every right to be nervous. Who wants to be traded off a playoff team to a struggling team?

      • loungefly74 - Feb 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        valid…and also the fact of relocating…not fun, man.

  5. mrlaloosh - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Wow! Sweating out where you’ll get your multi-million dollar paycheck must be really awful.
    I really feel their pain.

    • bhunter1995 - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Millionare or not, it sucks to leave a group of guys who have become your friends to go join a team of guys you don’t know, it also sucks to be traded to a bad team when you are on a contending team.

      • cruzan80 - Feb 21, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        And I’ll still switch places with him in a heartbeat…..

  6. azarkhan - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Amateurish and stupid, which, come to think about it, also describes the owner, Donald Sterling.

  7. therooneyskilledwebster - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Makes no sense at all. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of a parachute before?

  8. jerdogthompson - Feb 21, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Ah, lounge fly. You surfaced only to try and rehash ancient history much like your Lakers success. You need to get a grip and understand that looking forward is the path to understanding why the Clippers are on the upswing and your lowly Lakers are destined for purgatory the next 3-5 years.

    Oh I forgot, Love, Westbrook and James are all gonna play for vet minimums to watch Popeye Mamba(look at the non Achilles calf) huck up threes. Moron.


    • bhunter1995 - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      The Clippers franchise as a whole is crap compared to the Lakers franchise that is a fact. The funny part is that the Clippers won’t win a title as they are right now. Please go find me someone who’s opinion matters who says that the Clippers are a better tean then OKC, SA, and the Blazers. Even if the Clippers miraculously made it to the finals they would get roasted by the Heat or the Pacers. The Clippers are giving fools gold to the fans. Enjoy your first and second round exits for the next 5 years. Meanwhile the true team of LA will be rebuilding for championships, something the Lakers have some experiance with. Unlike the Clippers who have sucked perennially for 30 years.

      • fearthehoody - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        The Lakers are run by morons now, and you are the “new clippers” But you are also right about the Clipps going to get bounced 1st round every year. Im a Clipps fan and they are soft! VDN coached them to a better record! They quiver to any legit team (Memphis, OKC, Mia, Indy, Spurs, Golden st, Houston all better than LAC) . They shouldve traded DJ and Collison when they had the chance. DJ is ZERO % factor on O and gets dominated by anyone with size and a shred of ability. All my Laker friends said Doc was overrated. Each game Im getting closer to agreeing with them

  9. mrdry14 - Feb 21, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Are you calling the Sixers a bad team??

  10. ufools - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    @zee….you realize that the Clips are 15 million over the cap….right? Shut ur c-o-c-k sucker.

  11. fearthehoody - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Im a Clipp fan who hated VDN and thought he was a horrific coach. But who wouldve thought he was a better coach than Doc!? Clipps get dominated by any legit teams and feast on the weak! VDN had a better record with the same team at this time last year! 1st round and out again!!

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