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Back in 2016, Matt Barnes declared that the biggest mistake he’s made was appearing with ex-wife Gloria Govan on Basketball Wives. He called the show a “negative, untrue” depiction of the lives of basketball players and their partners.

Three years later, while speaking to YouTube interviewer Vlad in videos released this week, Barnes stood by his statement. He noted that being on the show put a lot of stress on the couple’s relationship, which was already rocky.

The now retired NBA player said a year or two into “Basketball Wives,” he and Govan (who only appeared for Season 1 and 2) started to have even more issues because of it.

“I was kind of being a young athlete and she was just kind of becoming known in the entertainment space so she was kind of feeling herself, so that kind of came to a head in 2010, my first year with the Lakers. We split for 10 months, I want to say.”



They would get back together, with Barnes saying he wanted to provide their twin boys with a somewhat stable home, but it just didn’t work. According to Matt, “we just found each other at the wrong time.” He was in the NBA, she was younger, they had two kids and then signed up for “Basketball Wives” and things went downhill from there.

It also didn’t help that when the couple had issues, Gloria’s TV castmates chimed in leading to more tensions. (Remember Gloria vs. Shaunie and the girls at that restaurant?)

“I just think — I don’t even blame the show for us breaking up, by any means. I just think once you open up that book to allow people to look at your private life, you can’t get mad when people comment on it,” Barnes said. “That was my hardest thing.

These people, at the time, were talking about the mother of my children and some people were even crazy enough to talk about my kids, so it took me a while to understand that we allowed this. We gave them access to our life so we can’t cuss everyone out in the world who has something to say that I don’t like about my family.”

Barnes said the one saving grace of the situation is that exposed him to film and television from behind the scenes, something he’s looking to get into now that he’s retired.

“I don’t blame the situation. It probably didn’t help, but it also opened my eyes to behind the camera and the TV side and that’s what I’m doing now, and realizing that it’s not tough to create shows, but quality shows,” he said. “I think there was a whole deception of how this show was supposed to be and the franchise has made money and been successful, but it’s just a horrible depiction of, I think, what they’re trying to perpetuate to begin with.”

Looking back on it now, Barnes says those involved with the show just wanted to create a lot of issues for him and his family.

“They never wanted to see me, Gloria and the twins happy. They wanted to see like me and Gloria fighting, and Gloria fighting with the other girls, and early on it was just like, I’m not with this sh-t,” he said. “I tried to pull her but she was under contract and they threatened to sue her and do all this kind of sh-t so she had to stick in there, but it was a mess from the beginning.”

Show or no show, the couple wasn’t meant to stay together. They married in 2013, but they split in 2014. Their divorce was finalized in 2016 and she moved on with his former Lakers teammate, Derek Fisher. The couple got engaged in 2018. He has moved on with Beverly Johnson’s daughter, Anansa Sims.  They welcomed a son in December.

PHOTO: PR Photos