Kings forward Matt Barnes is wanted for questioning by the New York Police Department for allegedly choking a woman and assaulting two others at a nightclub early Monday morning, according to TMZ.
“We do not believe a crime was committed,” said Barnes’ attorney, Alex Spiro, in an email to The Bee. “We are cooperating with law enforcement and are hopeful no charges will be pressed.”
Spiro added, “Matt is cooperating with NYPD’s investigation.”
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However, instead of remaining in New York to speak with police investigating into the incident, Barnes accompanied the team on its flight to Dallas on Monday afternoon. The Kings will play the Mavericks on Wednesday, the final stop of a six-game road trip.
Barnes could not be reached by The Bee, but he did defend himself on his Instagram account: “There’s always two sides to a story.. The side the media consistently tries to paint of me.... And what actually happened! Don’t believe everything you read”
The Kings issued a statement Monday afternoon: “We have clear standards of conduct and behavior expected of the entire Kings organization – on and off the court. We are working with all parties involved to gather information in order to take any appropriate next steps.”
According to the report, Barnes said he was defending himself at the Avenue Nightclub after being slapped by a woman after he “accidentally butt bumped” as he went to sit in his VIP booth, which led to Barnes defending himself when several men tried to jump him.
Barnes was reportedly knocked to the floor and one of the men tried to choke him.
USA Today reported citing an unnamed source that footage shows Barnes was “the assailant” from a 911 call that a man had choked a woman and assaulted a man and woman who tried to intervene.
The TMZ report says Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins stepped in to defend Barnes. In a video posted on TMZ, Cousins is heard saying he’s not sure what happened, but someone was trying to choke Barnes.
The Kings stayed in New York overnight after Sunday’s loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
TMZ has video with Barnes and Cousins leaving the nightclub with team security present. In the video Cousins can be heard saying, “Matt hit the (expletive) out this (person).”
Barnes, 36, is in his first season back with the Kings. His leadership on the court has been praised, and he’s one of new Kings’ coach Dave Joerger’s more trusted players, having played for him last season in Memphis.
Barnes is averaging 7.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He signed a two-year contract with the Kings in July.
NYPD had no update Monday evening and investigators were still waiting to speak with Barnes.