Matt Barnes has pledged to avoid Derek Fisher during Saturday's game between the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies.
Barnes and Fisher had an altercation during the preseason centered on Barnes' estranged wife Gloria Govan.
Barnes didn't want the NBA to discipline Fisher for his role.
“I never wish for another man’s downfall. I always knew the NBA would come down hard on me, so I wasn’t surprised... Cause I’m the bad guy.”
Barnes believes he was suspended for his silence on the issue.
“Probably,” Barnes responded, “because I didn’t snitch.”
Fisher has mostly declined to discuss the situation.
“I know I got to keep my mouth shut because then he’ll run and tell,” Barnes said. “So we’re focused on playing that team (the Knicks). And when I’m retired, him and I will cross paths again.”
Barnes is looking forward to the game against the Knicks.
“I knew when it was coming, obviously,” he said. “We’re former friends and former teammates. I know when we play.”
Courtney Lee doesn't expect there to be an issue between Barnes and Fisher during the game.
“Everybody has a situation where you’re playing against a former teammate or somebody who they don’t like playing against or who they just don’t like,” Lee said. “So I think he’ll handle it as a professional and I’m sure everybody in this locker room is going to help him do that.
“It’s another piece of adversity. It’s always something when we play. It could be the refs calling fouls that you disagree with them. It could be somebody in the stands saying something. Or it could be a coach taking you out or saying something to you or it could be a coach saying something to you or it could be a teammate saying something to you. You just have to block it out.”