Usually, Matt Barnes hears a buzz heading into the NBA playoffs. We're not just talking about the increased excitement level as fans proudly wave their Lakers flags. We're not referring to celebrities sitting courtside who pay more attention to the game than their text messages. We're not just seeing the Lakers suddenly take games more seriously.
Barnes usually hears the buzz of hair clippers shortly before the postseason so he could wear a mohawk in honor of his mother, Ann, who died in 2007 of lung cancer. But Barnes told The Times he won't continue that tradition this year.
"I don't want any distractions," said Barnes, who averages 7.8 points on 45.2% shooting, 5.5 rebounds and admits his sprained right ankle is still sore. "I just want to go out here and play basketball."
In 2007, Barnes played for the Golden State Warriors and boldly stated he'd style his hair into a mohawk should they make the playoffs. As the Warriors earned a spot as the Western Conference's eight-seeded team and upset the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, Barnes said his mother loved seeing him sport the mohawk. Once she passed away seven months later, Barnes made the haircut a playoff ritual in her honor.