I think Twitter is amazing. It is also somewhat, perhaps mostly, responsible for the diminution in frequency of my long-form blog posts here and at GSoM over the last couple years (also I got really freaking busy with the nbawowy stuff). It's just so easy on twitter to communicate your thoughts in real-time, that I often feel like I've already said everything I want to say, and it obviates the need for more than 140 characters at a time that the old-fashioned blog platform originally provided.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance you follow me on twitter, and if you follow me on twitter you probably have heard me make a disparaging remark or two about the play of a certain Golden State Warrior who arrived by way of North Carolina and Iowa. I'm referring, of course, to Harrison Bryce Jordan Barnes. They say don't hate the player, hate the game. Well, I've tried my best to hate the game, but I am continually accused of hating the player regardless.
As a fun exercise for myself, and to stir the passions of Barnes fanboys everywhere, I wanted to go through my history of tweeting about Barnes (I now have over 706 tweets with "Barnes" as a search term, although some of those could be about Matt Barnes!) to see how my "hate" for this player came to be. Think of this post as the origin myth for the most rampant and prolific Barnes "hater" on all of twitter (if you know of anyone who "hates" Barnes more than myself, let me know in the comments or on twitter!). So without any further adieu...let's a do this.
I didn't think Barnes would be there at 7 leading up to the draft.
And cue the draft, Barnes falls to 7. I'm apparently fine with it.
Although in my heart and head I wanted us to take John Henson.
(and I knew we would never have the balls to take him)
(oh, the wildcard!)
(one last Henson regret for good measure)
So Barnes, Ezeli, & Draymond it is. How do I feel about it at the time?
Uh, that's kind of spooky how accurate that fake quote turned out to be! (I'm apparently pretty good at fake interviewing people.)
I noted the hand measurements being small at the time of the draft. Anthony Davis doesn't seem to have been bothered by it (perhaps, because he was a point guard growing up), but I often think (and still do) it's a real issue for Barnes and at the core of his ball handling troubles on the perimeter:
Still, I was optimistic.
Oh, gosh. Really optimistic!
Starting to come down to reality.
Apparently I thought the bar needed to be lowered.
Hmm...jury still out on this one, perhaps?
This is still an insult apparently (but also still appropriate).
I think I shifted the proximity of my position on this one quite a bit in the interim.
This debate was a thing at the time.
It's really funny going back to that article to see what I had written as the "Case for Barnes":
The case I would make for Barnes actually has less to do with Barnes strengths than it does thinking about what will work best for the team. As stated above, one of my concerns with Barnes coming off the bench is that he'll feel that he has a responsibility to be "the scorer". That is the last thing I want in terms of his development as a player. Conversely, I feel that Barnes would have to learn how to play the "right way" as a member of the starting unit, because he would be surrounded by several players that are clearly a step or two or three above him right now in terms of offensive production. Of course, one could turn this right around and argue, well, if Barnes isn't in the starting unit because of his offense, and it isn't because of his defense, then maybe he shouldn't be starting, eh? And I can't really disagree with that argument. (I'm a terrible self-debater.)
Clearly, I am now of the same opinion as the second guy in that quote.
Back to the tweets! Here I start to notice Draymond.
That trend would continue and intensify.
Then I started to question the kool-aid.
I was at this game tweeting from Oracle! Perhaps, it could be like this forever.
He was decent for a while!
(with certain caveats)
Here is clear evidence of me hating Harrison Barnes:
Much more foreshadowing!
I was skeptical even against Denver.
At the time, some people were advocating for David Lee to be moved so that Barnes could replace him. Hmm. I wonder if those people ever said they were wrong about that.
I still wonder this, fwiw:
There's that Marvin Williams comp for the first time (from me):
At the time, a lot of folks said they wouldn't have (I wanted Kawhi on draft night, btw):
A continuing concern to this day. The number one concern in my estimation.
This. Still. Except not so much dunking.
And then we got Iguodala.
He is coming off the bench, and he is not shining. And they are discounting it because he doesn't have the benefit of always playing with better players. Sigh.
I believe this was something I heard Sam Mitchell say on NBA TV:
It's been pretty much all downhill from there:
Always this. But again this season with less dunks.
You've surely heard me say this by now:
And probably this too:
Harrison Barnes' best skill:
This could get awkward:
And so it goes on and on:
Ok, I'm going to stop here. It just gets worse and worse.
Well, one last tweet for good measure.