Matt Barnes a key piece to the Clippers puzzle

Matt Barnes has played for nine teams in his 10-year NBA career and it all started in 2004 when he found his way to the Clippers. Fayetteville of the D-League and 17 games with Long Beach of the ABA were behind him.
The glory days of the remnants of a 28-54 Clippers season greeted him.
He laughed when he explained why he was so satisfied Wednesday, when Barnes talked about the three-year, $11 million contract he signed.
“Stability,” he said over and over as if to convince himself.
“I’m not supposed to be here, I’m not supposed to be in the NBA, I’ve bounced around, I’ve been down and out and to be on a contender now . . .” Barnes said, not needing to finish the sentence.
“After 11 years of scratching and clawing, I’m still scratching and clawing but I get to do it in the same place. And we have one of the better teams in the league.
“For myself and for the team we’ve come full circle. My rookie year, we were terrible. They know it, we know it, the world knows it. To see 10, 11 years later to even have something like this, people care about who the Clippers are signing now. The team’s come a long way and the I’ve come a long way personally.”
As it turns out, Barnes is not merely a valued tough guy off the bench who will unflinchingly shoot a 3-pointer. His influence reached deep last season on and off the court.
“Matt wants to win. You can just feel that when you’re around him,” Coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s so important. He loved the guys from last year. He was great to talk to on the phone, not about coming back, but just about the team. For me, he may have been the most important guy to bring back — obviously Chris (Paul) — just because he wanted to, and his knowledge of the team that’s already in place.”

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