Matt Barnes says he stopped NBA player from fighting Skip Bayless

Matt Barnes claims he’s saved Skip Bayless from getting his a– whooped – twice.

Barnes, the former NBA player who currently serves as an ESPN analyst and host of the “All The Smoke” podcast, took to his Instagram earlier this week with a video responding to Bayless for his controversial tweet about the Bengals-Bills game being postponed. The video now appears to have been deleted.

In his video, Barnes said Bayless’ tweet was “blatant disrespect” to Hamlin, who remains hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Barnes then claimed that an NBA player and a coach wanted to “f–k Skip up” at some point in the last two years.

“I know personally, personally that I’ve had to diffuse two situations,” Barnes said. “One with a coach, and one with an NBA player. They wanted to f–k Skip up. Personally I’ve had to do it. One was this year, one was last year. Personally, I had to reach out to Unc and set up a conversation for people who wanted to f–k Skip up. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, but it’s just gone too far in my opinion.”

Bayless came under fire during “Monday Night Football” when he tweeted concern over the Week 17 matchup being postponed as Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin received CPR from medical personnel in the first quarter. The 24-year-old suffered cardiac arrest on the field.

“No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game – but how?” Bayless tweeted at the time. “This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome … which suddenly seems so irrelevant.”

Skip Bayless on
Skip Bayless on “Undisputed” on Jan. 3, 2023.
Twitter/Undisputed

Barnes — who played 14 NBA seasons and won a championship with the Warriors in 2017 — did not name the player or coach involved in the alleged incidents. He went on to explain how Bayless’ “Undisputed” co-host, Shannon Sharpe, appears fed up on the FS1 show.

“Shannon’s had a lot of love or does have a lot of love for dude, but you can even see Shannon’s fed up,” Barnes said. “Someone’s gonna end up hurting Skip because his ego, his arrogance, his disrespect has kind of always been on this level, but now I think it’s gone to a new level, and now he’s disrespecting his co-host in Shannon.

“… This dude Skip is all bad and he thinks that he can say and do what he wants and there isn’t going to be any repercussions, and there may not be no repercussions from his job, but somebody’s gonna run up on Skip and hurt this man. I don’t know if it’s gonna be in 2023 or 2024, but it’s coming.”

Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless on
Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless on “Undisputed” on Jan. 4, 2023.
Twitter/Undisputed

Earlier on in the video, Barnes elaborated on Sharpe’s apparent frustration on “Undisputed,” noting that his body language appears tense.

“I just feel [as] of late he’s been very very very disrespectful and out of pocket, and that’s normal, but he’s been that way to Shannon,” Barnes said. “You could see Shannon bite his tongue, you could see him take deep breaths from not jumping across that table and ringing that man’s neck. But I think Skip’s day is coming, and it may not be from a firing standpoint, because you know white men in this profession can kinda get away with and do what they want.”

Sharpe skipped Tuesday’s episode of “Undisputed” and then called out Bayless for his tweet when he returned on Wednesday.

“Skip tweeted something and although I disagree with the tweet, and hopefully Skip will take it down,” Sharpe said at the time, before firing back at Bayless for continuously interrupting his monologues.

Despite sending an apology on Monday, Bayless stood by his tweet, telling Sharpe that he refuses to remove it and adding that no one at Fox took issue with it.

Barnes joined a number of former and current athletes across the NFL and NBA that blasted Bayless for his tweet about the Bengals-Bills game.

Former NBA player, Stephen Jackson, who is Barnes’ “All The Smoke” co-host, threatened to “slap the sh-t outta [Bayless]” in a tweet, writing, “All respect gone.”

Free agent NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas replied to Bayless, writing, “I hope they fire you bro!!! For you to even THINK of the game is very sad.”

Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens reposted Bayless’ tweet to Instagram and said it is “the most despicable tweet ever,” adding, “I hope you LOSE YOUR JOB!!”

Bills safety Damar Hamlin after a game against the Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium on Sept.  19, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
Bills safety Damar Hamlin after a game against the Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium on Sept. 19, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
Getty Images
Fans look on as the ambulance leaves carrying Bills safety Damar Hamlin after he suffered cardiac arrest on the field against the Bengals at Paycor Stadium on Jan.  2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fans look on as the ambulance leaves carrying Bills safety Damar Hamlin after he suffered cardiac arrest on the field against the Bengals at Paycor Stadium on Jan. 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Getty Images

On Friday, the Bills said Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight, per his physicians at UCMC. Hamlin has been in the intensive care unit in critical condition since he was hospitalized on Monday night after suffering cardiac arrest in the first quarter.

“He continues to progress remarkably in his recovery,” the Bills said. “His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team.”

Hamlin also FaceTimed with the team on Friday, saying, “Love you boys.”

The NFL announced on Thursday that the Week 17 matchup between the Bills and Bengals will not be resumed and has been canceled.

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