Matt Barnes weighs in on fouls against Caitlin Clark. Matt Barnes weighs in on fouls against Caitlin Clark. (Photos from Matt Barnes on Instagram and from Michelle Pemberton/USA Today Sports.)

The hard foul from Chennedy Carter on Caitlin Clark in a WNBA game Saturday has sparked a lot of media discussion. Some particularly notable commentary there comes from All The Smoke cohost Matt Barnes, who built a significant reputation as a tough player during a 2004-2017 NBA career.

Barnes addressed the Carter foul on Instagram Saturday. There, he said his issue is more with the lack of intervention from Clark’s Indiana Fever teammates with this and other hard fouls to date than with the fouls themselves:


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“So there’s a hot topic going on right now, Caitlin Clark says she got cheap-shotted against the Sky. I mean, throughout the season, she’s been getting beat up. Hard screens, elbows, knocked down. It is what it is; she’s not the first, she won’t be the last. My issue and my question is ‘Where the f*** are her teammates at?’ Where y’all at? Where are the rest of the Indiana Fever at?

“I’ve seen a couple of girls smirk when she’s got knocked down, half-a** to pick her up. Like, y’all supposed to protect the asset, protect the star. And although this is a team, you always protect your star. I was someone who protected the stars. You f*** with Kobe, CP [Chris Paul], Blake [Griffin], the list goes on, it’s going to be a problem.

“Because you guys are supposed to be a family. And you wonder why you sit at the bottom of the league right now, it’s because y’all don’t protect each other, man. Coach don’t do s*** about it, players don’t do s*** about it. Y’all should be ashamed of it.

“But the rest of the league is going to continue to test her. That’s what they’re supposed to do. It’s your guys’ f****** job to have her back, and to have each others’ backs. Got to do better, ladies.”

Barnes’ perspective here is definitely interesting. As he notes, one of his frequent roles during his NBA career was playing a physical game, which included protecting stars. He’s since built quite the All The Smoke media empire (alongside co-host Stephen Jackson), and has weighed in on a lot of different basketball topics. But his commentary on enforcers, hard fouls, and taking care of teammates after those is particularly notable given his history as a player.

[Matt Barnes on Instagram]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.