Report: Harrison Barnes Decided To Play Despite Trade Talk; Dispelling LeBron's Criticism

LeBron James and Harrison Barnes
Photo credit Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
By 105.3 The Fan

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - LeBron James made waves last night on social media when he sounded off on the Dallas Mavericks for trading away Harrison Barnes as he sat on the bench in the fourth quarter of last night's win over the Charlotte Hornets.

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Feb 6, 2019 at 8:43pm PST

“So let me guess this is cool cause they had to do what was best for the franchise right??? Traded this man while he was literally playing in the game and had ZERO idea,” James said on his Instagram account after it was announced Barnes was traded from the Mavericks while he was playing in a game against the Hornets. “I’m not knocking who traded him because it’s a business and you have to do what you feel what’s best, but I just want this narrative to start to get REAL/CHANGE and not when a player wants to be traded or leaves a Franchise that he’s a selfish/ungrateful player but when they trade you, release, waive, cut etc etc it’s best for them!

“I’m ok with both honestly, truly am. Just call a ♠️ a ♠️!!”

But a new report that came out Thursday morning appears to show that James' critical comments were unfounded. 

Harrison Barnes and agent Jeff Schwartz were apprised before Wednesday's game that Barnes was being pursued by Sacramento and Charlotte, league sources say. The Kings' offer won out and Barnes, as explained by Paul Pierce late last night on ESPN, opted to play rather than sit

— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 7, 2019

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Barnes and his agent Jeff Schwartz were informed before the game that Barnes was being pursued by Charlotte and the Sacramento Kings. Barnes elected to play, however, and Sacramento's offer ultimately won out in the middle of the game. 

Stein credited ESPN's Paul Pierce who was the first to report last night that Barnes and his agent knew a trade was in the works but decided to play anyways. 

.@paulpierce34 says Harrison Barnes knew a trade to the Kings was in the works prior to the game, and still wanted to play for the Mavericks Wednesday.

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 7, 2019

"To my understanding, this was in the works for the last few days. I got a call from Harrison's agent Jeff Schwartz and they knew something was in the works with Sacramento. And according to my sources Harrison Barnes wanted to play," Pierce said on NBA on ESPN. "It just so happens that the trade got agreed upon (in the middle of the game). So once everybody found out about the trade they pulled him out."