“Induction into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame is truly an honor. I am grateful for the role that the city played in my accomplishments on the field and on the court and I appreciate the fans that still show their love.”
High School: Del Campo
* NBA Career: 14 Years (LA Clippers, Sacramento, New York, Philadelphia,
Golden State, Phoenix, Orlando, LA Lakers, Memphis)
* NBA Champion (2017)
* 7,589 Career Points
* 4,281 Career Rebounds
* 2 Sport High School All-American, Basketball & Football
Matt Barnes was born in Santa Clara and moved to Sacramento at the age of eight. Matt grew up as part of a bi-racial family and at times growing up in this environment was difficult for this fiery competitor.
Through the years, he began to blossom as an exceptional athlete. He attended Del Campo High School where he stood out and his talents were recognized. Matt was a two-sport star and was named as a High School All-American in both Football and Basketball. On the court he was a scoring machine. On the field he was a beast, scoring 28 touchdowns as 6’ 7” wide receiver. He ran a 4.34 40-yard dash and had a 30 inch vertical leap.
Matt’s time at Del Campo was bittersweet. Matt and his family had to endure severe racism. Being biracial, he didn’t know where he fit in and acceptance was hard. When his sister was the victim of bullying and racism, Matt, decided tp take matters into his own hands. He was suspended which led to further racism toward him. After that, the school was vandalized, and his family was forced to move out of the neighborhood.
Matt was recruited by nearly every major school in the country, and he chose to play basketball at UCLA. He was a standout at UCLA, playing all four years for the Bruins and was a starter as a junior and senior. Matt was a Pac-10 honorable selection in his junior year.
In 2002, he was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2nd round as the 46th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Being a small forward, he found it tough making an NBA roster. Matt spent two seasons in the D league developing his skills. In October 2004, his dream came true when Matt got an offer from his hometown team, the Sacramento Kings. In his first game, he scored 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Matt played for nine teams in 14 seasons and played with some of the best players of all time. Wherever he went, he was a key role player with a fierce competitive attitude. While Matt had two stints with Kings, his best years may have been with two of Sacramento’s arch nemesis; The Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. In 2006 with the Warriors, Matt’s game began to flourish. Matt tied a Golden State franchise record making seven three-pointers in one game. He said that if the Warriors didn’t sign him, he would have given up basketball and try out for the NFL.
In 2010, Matt got a call that he will never forget. On the other end of the phone was none other than Kobe Bryant. Kobe called to recruit Matt to join the 2-time defending champion Lakers. Matt’s time with the Lakers was special, especially being mentored by Kobe. The Lakers won 57 games that season and finished first in the Pacific Division and made it to the Western Conference Semifinals.
Matt’s career continued to soar and reach new heights. In 2016, he came back home to the Kings and had a very good year. But the next year was even better. Only 12 days after Sacramento released him, it came to a crescendo when he was back with the Warriors. Matt was an integral part of this team which finished the playoffs with a 16-1 record; the best winning percentage in NBA Playoff history while the winning the NBA Championship.
Today, Matt enjoys a very successful broadcasting career. He was worked for ESPN, FOX Sports and now has returned home to be part of the Kings broadcasts with NBC Sports California. Matt helped create the show “All The Smoke” on Showtime that was voted #1 Podcast.
Matt will always be known as one of the fiercest and most determine players to ever come from the Sacramento area. After overcoming strife from his early childhood, he has developed into a mature and successful entrepreneur and broadcaster while representing his hometown proudly.