Things have changed exponentially in Oakland since the last time Matt Barnes put on a Warriors jersey.
For one, the team logo looks a lot different, and team ownership has changed hands from Chris Cohan to the joint partnership of Peter Guber and Joe Lacob.
Not to mention the team has also transitioned from laughing stock to NBA champion, the very model for up-and-coming teams to build toward,
One thing though, according to Barnes, hasn’t changed.
It was near the end of Barnes time in 2007 that the Warriors started to instill the idea of championships into the minds and hearts of all those involved in the organization. It’s something he still looks forward to finishing, ten years later.
After Thursday’s practice, Barnes was asked, “What would it mean for you to finish the deal you started back then?”
Barnes took a deep exhale and replied:
“Everything. It would be absolutely … I’ve thought about it, I’ve dreamt about it. My kids have even talked about it, you know, ‘Daddy we want to come down when you guys win a championship.”
In his fifteenth season, Barnes has been around the NBA block a few times.
Playing for a league-high nine different franchises over his career, Barnes now enters a situation in Golden State that he has never faced before: A team that needs a veteran presence to fill a void and seal the deal.
The Warriors made the decision to sign another forward to make up for KD’s absence, rather than a guard in Calderon. After being released Feb. 20 following Sacramento’s trade of DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, Barnes was available to become a Warrior.
The move now gives Barnes the opportunity to fulfill his original commitment to Golden State.
Since signing Barnes, the Warriors have moved past the adversity of life without KD. They have finally hit their stride and look to have returned to championship form.
Now two games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, the Warriors have a chance to secure the No. 1 seed with 11 games left to play in the regular season.
Both of these facts are even more change for Barnes.
Nearly a decade ago, it was Barnes who helped play spoiler to another No. 1 seed, the Dallas Mavericks in ‘07.
The birth of “We Believe” started there and now Barnes wants to finish it off ten years later. This time, with a little different slogan. Because everyone around the organization already believes.