Kings forward Matt Barnes turned himself in to New York City police Wednesday to face misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a Dec. 5 altercation at a nightclub.
Barnes, 36, was charged with misdemeanor assault and issued a desk appearance ticket before being released, according to the New York Post. He will have to return at a later date for a court appearance.
This is an ongoing legal process and we do not have further comment.
Kings statement on Matt Barnes
Barnes’ publicist told The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday afternoon he was en route to Sacramento, where the Kings host the Phoenix Suns on Friday at Golden 1 Center.
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The 14-year NBA veteran is accused of choking a woman at the Avenue nightclub after the Kings played the New York Knicks on Dec. 4. Barnes has maintained his innocence. His attorney Alex Spiro told the Post: “We deny the allegations and will answer in court.”
A spokesman for the Kings, who finished an eight-game trip by losing to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, issued a statement Wednesday saying: “This is an ongoing legal process and we do not have further comment.”
Fallout from the incident has loomed over Barnes’ first season back with the Kings, who signed the former Del Campo High School standout to a two-year contract last summer.
Barnes and center DeMarcus Cousins have also been named in a civil suit stemming from the altercation. The suit, filed by plaintiffs Jasmine Besiso and Myrone Powell, alleges that at about 3 a.m. Barnes grabbed Besiso by her neck and began to choke her. When Powell intervened, the suit alleges, Cousins punched him and Barnes also assaulted him.
Sources familiar with the incident, who were not authorized to go on the record, told The Bee in December that Barnes was the person attacked and neither player started the fight.
We deny the allegations and will answer in court.
Alex Spiro, Matt Barnes’ attorney
ESPN reported this week Cousins has been cleared of any wrongdoing by authorities and will not face criminal charges.
Barnes went on Instagram in the wake of the incident to write, “There’s always two sides to a story.”
The 6-foot-7 forward is averaging 7.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 46 games this season and has drawn praise for his leadership. Following a Jan. 15 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Barnes candidly said the Kings lack discipline and “complain too much to the refs.”
The Kings (19-30) went 3-5 on their recent trip and entering Wednesday were three games out of the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference standings.