The days of burly prototype NBA enforcers like Charles Oakley and Xavier McDaniel ended somewhere around the turn of the century when the NBA was desperate to find its post-Michael Jordan era footing. Rather than throwing elbows and showcasing mild, controlled violence to prove who was ‘The Man,’ keeping star players upright and healthy was the focus as everybody was anxious to anoint a new basketball hero.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes is a throwback type player who operates in the spirit of Oakley and McDaniel even if he can’t match their raw power. In a sprawling discussion about the Clippers’ success in the 2012-13 NBA season and what goes on behind the scenes of the NBA logo, Barnes offered one of the clearest pictures of the relationship between NBA players and how his toughness got him where he is today.
Watch the video above and know that my favorite quote, that sums up the entire discussion, is “If you’re crazy enough to mess with me, you’re crazy enough to play with me”