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Kevin McHale rips Matt Barnes for insulting James Harden’s mother


Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale called out Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes for what was reported as a pretty vulgar salvo fired at the mother of James Harden during Wednesday’s game.

McHale, who wasn’t afraid to liven up things on the court during his playing days with some pointed smack talk, nevertheless took Barnes to task for sinking so low a to make vile comments about another player’s mother.

“I heard about some of that stuff,” McHale said on Thursday, via Ultimate Rockets. “You don’t say anything to someone’s (mother). I never thought of talking bad about Magic (Johnson’s) mother. It’s hard enough talking crap to Magic. We all talk smack, but nothing like that last night. That thought never even crossed your mind.

“I honestly don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there. I didn’t get a chance to talk to James’ mother about it. From what I heard, that’s just not right. I came from an era everybody talked smack. There was a lot of stuff going on. But not like that. It was much more, “I’m going to kick your (butt). What are you going to say about that. Then you went from there.”

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers even felt compelled to address the issue and also was critical of Barnes’ conduct, albeit in a less condemnatory fashion than McHale, saying in part, “That’s not basketball.”

The story goes that Barnes, after being confronted by Harden’s brother, personally apologized.

“What he told me was that he would never want to disrespect anyone’s mother because his mother passed from cancer,” Monja told TMZ. “And that he was sorry.”

She said she accepted Barnes’ apology but when asked what exactly the Clippers player said to her, she demurred, saying, “We’ll leave that on the court.”

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, perhaps it’s best to let this story recede from the headlines, especially given that everyone involved seems satisfied that it’s been resolved.