Q&A: Harrison Barnes

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Monday, December 01, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Bob Fitzgerald & Rod Brooks

Brooks: I heard you say before the season that one thing you wanted to do this year was simplify the game and simplify your game to make things easier. I was really intrigued by that — what is that mind-set? ... 
Barnes: The first thing was, when the new coaching staff came in I sat down with them and watched a lot of tape of my game from last year. The biggest thing I saw was that I was just trying to do too much at times. ... The biggest thing I wanted to do was just simplify. You got an open shot? Take the open shot. You don’t want to make it harder than it is. If you have an open lane, you don’t have to try to go get contact and make it an and-one; you just make the easy layup, make the easy pass. You don’t have to always try to make that home run play, just get a base hit. That’s the biggest thing I’ve been trying to work on, and the coaches have helped me so much with that. 
Brooks: Does it make a difference that you’re back in the starting lineup? ... Now that you’re not coming off of the bench and not getting as much attention, is that a factor?
Barnes: I think it’s just a different style of offense. ... Just how we’re moving, how we’re spaced, getting guys off of closeouts and being able to attack that way — that’s been really productive for my game. So I credit a lot of that to Coach (Steve) Kerr and his development of the offense.
Fitzgerald: A lot of us who care about you were frustrated for you last year as you came off the bench for the first time and struggled to produce — how did you get through that just from a mental perspective? 
Barnes: I’m not going to lie, it was an extremely frustrating year. But on the opposite end, it turned out to be huge motivation for me this summer — just to really work on my game, rededicate myself, watch film and just try to learn as much as I can. I definitely want to just continue to keep working, continue to get better. 
Fitzgerald: Were you on this BART ride (Tuesday) after the charity event in the city?
Barnes: Oh, for sure, man. Greatest ride of my life!
Fitzgerald: So tell people about it. ... When the event ended, guys just said, “Hey, let’s take BART back to Oakland ...” 
Barnes: S.F. traffic was the genesis of it. (all laugh) We knew we didn’t want to be on that bus. ... We didn’t think anything of it, but then obviously when we got on BART some people started making a little bit of a big deal about it. ... It was actually fun.
Fitzgerald: Was it just a photo fest? Was it people asking for autographs? Was it like a scene from “The Warriors,” did you fight another gang? (all laugh)
Barnes: We had Ralph, our security guard, so there were no fights. (laughter) ... It was actually so packed in there, no one could even take pictures. We were thankful every time the door would open so we could get some fresh air. It was packed, man — standing room only in that car.