Matt Barnes talks next steps in social equality, Virtue Signaling vs Action, and Trae Young Get Some Pandemic Buckets
LAJETHRO JENKINS: So welcome to "Dunk Bait" where we talk mostly basketball. Today, we'll be talking to Matt Barnes, virtue signaling verse actually in a BLM movement. Mike Miller torching some young kids. And Trae Young jumping out for an impromptu game during the pandemic.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: Heavy in these streets, doing all types of charitable work and community service. My former teammate at UCLA, Matt Barnes. What's going on, man?
MATT BARNES: Jo, what's up, bro? Thanks for having me.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: Oh, man. I appreciate you for coming on. So first and foremost, just want to get into obviously with everything going on and the climate going on in the world, you were actually at-- out-- out in Sacramento this weekend protesting and marching against police brutality and for George Floyd. Where do we go? And how do we fix this now so we don't have to keep seeing all these protests? And we'd actually see avoid-- avoid seeing these protests and all the situations going on.
MATT BARNES: We need to have a plan now. You know, what is our plan with moving forward? I think, first and foremost, we need to get out and vote. And-- and when I say vote, it's not just to get Trump out of office. It's your local level, your state level, your city level.
People don't know. That's where most bills are created and passed. I read a-- I read an interesting article yesterday that said 1% of cops are charged for killings and less than 1% are actually convicted. It kind of speaks to the point why they just kind of freely do what they want because there's really no consequences. But I truly feel energy and the momentum shifting. And hopefully this is, you know, the start of something new.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: You've experienced situations like this, you know, racially fueled issues like this all throughout your life, I think, including high school. I remember you telling us stories about that back in the day. So how did those experiences really make you want to become a voice and kind of use your platform to speak out for situations like this?
MATT BARNES: A lot of people don't have voices. Although, everyone has a platform on-- on social media, when athletes speak, it's heard. You know, so I've always prided myself on being able to speak for the people, on behalf of the people, you know. I'm literally, you know, once a week, twice a week on phone calls with policymakers and lawmakers in Sacramento. We're working on a hand-- a handful of new bills that we hope to present to the Senate floor to try to get some new laws passed.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: This past week, the NBA announced that they'd be coming back with a 22 team format. Do you think this is the right move with obviously the 'rona and the pandemic still going on? If you were a player, would you be comfortable playing in that type of situation?
MATT BARNES: The athlete in me says yes. You know, I would want to get back out there and play and especially finish the season because if you recall, you know, they kind of stopped the season right when the season really get started. Some guys want to, you know, sit back and-- and kind of figure out what our next-- our nation's next move is. I wouldn't be surprised if-- if some teams or so-- you know, some key players didn't want to play on behalf and in honor of-- of George Floyd.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: And guys have literally told you like, yo, man, we don't really feel comfortable playing until this situation gets resolved and figured out. Is that something that's happened?
MATT BARNES: It is. You know, actually Snoop hit me the other day, too, talking about it cause I had talked to a few guys, not to mention no names. And he said he had-- he had talked to a couple of guys from the Lakers and the Clippers. You know, there are some whispers about, you know, some teams not being comfortable.
Some guys want to play. Some guys don't want to play. So it'll be an interesting, you know, next couple weeks or so. You know, cause they're heading to training camp. I think, at the beginning of next month to see what-- what this turns out to be.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: Thank you for taking the time to join us on "Dunk Bait", man. And you know, keep-- keep doing everything you're doing, man. Really, really happy to see just everything you're doing out there in the community and just, you know, who you've become as a man and a person, bro. So appreciate you.
MATT BARNES: No doubt, Jo. Thanks for having me, bro.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: So we've seen a lot of people taking a stand with what's been going on in the last two weeks. And we're wondering if there's going to be any action. How do you guys feel about that?
JOSIAH JOHNSON: I mean, look, I think, you know, we're reaching now two straight weeks of protest. And I think it's a beautiful thing to see people out on these streets and uniting. I've seen people of all races, all ages, you know, everything. But I think it comes to a point now. Obviously companies have done a lot and kind of used their voice and their brands to-- to raise awareness.
But now, it's more put your money where your mouth is type thing. It's been a lot of talk. Now, it's time-- time for some action. You know what I'm saying? Like, I need to see, you know, employment rates increasing, opportunities increasing, giving more power to these black voi-- voices that are super talented and deserving of opportunity.
So I need to see some movement put in place. Where do we go from here? And how do we actually create progress where this stuff has to stop happening?
ZACH SCHWARTZ: It's been a fascinating week to watch companies issue sort of the same statements that they have each time these kind of things come up in our country and finally being held accountable. No, that's not good enough. We want donations. We want action within your company.
We want to see your staffs look different. So that's been really powerful. It's been great seeing the people kind of hold the feet to the fire of some of these big companies that are just putting these-- these messages out. And it's like, yeah, but you're lining your pockets from this community. And you're not-- that's all you're gonna do is give out a statement? Like, come on. And so that's been great seeing people hold the fi-- them to the fire and hold them more accountable than they have in the past.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Seeing people step out in solidarity, I mean, it does feel good. But yeah, we-- we definitely need to see action. I mean, Kevin Love, you know, he jumped out with solidarity with the black square or whatever. But then he also talked about the actions he's going to make, like actionable things he's going to do in order to change things, solutions, you know what I'm saying, within his organization. And I think that's what's important.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: We work in social. We work in entertainment. I look at a lot of social media companies and platforms out there that have these huge voices. And I don't see a lot of black voices at these companies, just to be candid and honest. But I see them profiting a lot off of the backs of black content.
You know, the-- the language, the lingo, and all these things like that. I've seen, like, people out here, or I've seen numerous people asking for lists of, like, black creators and talent and people like that. It's like these are the-- the same lists that you guys have been had. These are the same voices that you've been jacking for years and years and years. Then it's now the time, the opportunity to give people that actually have that voice that they're actually getting got every day on social for their lingo, for their swag, for their content, you know what I'm saying, and give those people an opportunity to shine because they will when-- if given so.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Changes need to be made, you know what I'm saying, when the people you're talking to are-- are not represented by people that are talking to them. You know what I'm saying, so--
All right, so Mike Miller, former NBA champion and ex-assistant at Memphis, a video came out of him cooking these players. And what I love about this is that type of game that Mike Miller has will always be effective. You know what I'm saying? If you had a Jimmy, every-- your-- your-- your footwork Mike-- like Mike, the handle goes, the legs go, but the Jimmy stays. You feel me?
You know what I mean? And he's just using basic old man moves to cook these young people, who are way more athletic than he is. You feel me? And I love seeing it, bro.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: Wait, I-- I don't use this lightly. But when I think about Mike Miller, Mike Miller could come to the cookout. Mike Miller can hear Jimmy. You know, Mike Miller has always been, you know, heavily embraced by the black community as a real one from the time we was at Florida putting in work. Always has swag.
Dudes will give you buckets. Like, this is-- this is real life, like, especially ex-hoopers that still-- still have a little bit left in the tank and, you know, whose hips haven't failed them, whose legs aren't janky. Like, if-- when they get those opportunities-- now, he can't do that every day of the week. But he will let these youngsters know what it really is.
ZACH SCHWARTZ: Mike Miller is the guy that shows up at your like rec league gym, everyone kind of knows what he can do. He's got maybe, like, a little bit of Band-Aid on the forehead. He's got the, like, real musty elbow pad. But he's just out there hitting shot, shot, shot, shot. Like-- like you said, that game's never going away.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: He'll never dribble more than three times. You know that. But it's-- I mean, he's very efficient and effective. And I mean, I love that game, bro. You know what I'm saying? Like, it's pretty-- that Jimmy is beautiful. You see that form on that thing? Woo, perfect.
ZACH SCHWARTZ: Trae Young showed up in Oklahoma City. I think everyone's a little bit surprised. One, there are that many people in the gym, no masks. And there is full basketball going on somewhere in the world.
I'm sure part of it was a little bit a horror. Part of it was a little bit of, like, shock and jealousy that you couldn't be in the gym to watch that. I don't know, what would you guys think if you saw this go around?
LAJETHRO JENKINS: I mean, nobody can question how much he loves the game. During a pandemic, my man is still giving buckets. You know what I'm saying? And he look like he still been working-- been working on his game. I mean, that Jimmy was sweet, bro.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: Still with the fluffy 'do. Still-- still not using any product. I'm still rocking with Trae. But here's thing. Like, I'll rock with-- you know, people are like, oh, well, he's not quarantined. He's not social distancing.
But them dudes can't guard Trae. So he-- there was definitely some social distancing going on. A lot of dudes claim that they hadn't been doing nothing. But let's keep it real. Dudes been out there working out on the low. I wouldn't be surprised if LeBron had these dudes out in the bunker somewhere just getting it in for the past couple of weeks.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: There was no rust on his game, bro, no rust. When he got that cross off, he got his 6 feet. You know what I'm saying?
ZACH SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: All right, that's another episode of "Dunk Bait." I'm LaJethro Jenkins.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: King Josiah 54.
ZACH SCHWARTZ: I'm Zach Schwartz. Have a good week, everybody.