Barnes staying busy amid labor uncertainty 

Matt Barnes isn’t fazed by the lockout.

The Northern California native and one-time Warriors player has enough on his plate as it is, having just begun playing for his San Francisco Pro-Am club, the Dream Team, on Thursday, planning a celebrity golf tournament with Athletes vs. Cancer in August and hosting a basketball camp this week at the headquarters of EA Sports in Redwood City.

“The lockout is not really bad right now for me, honestly, because it gives me more time to let my knee fully heal,” said the 31-year-old Los Angeles Lakers swingman, who tore his lateral meniscus in a regular-season game Jan. 7.

While Barnes returned two months after the injury, he played tentatively the rest of the season, and has spent much of the summer rehabbing the knee.

In his first time playing Thursday since the season ended, Barnes tallied 28 points and said he didn’t feel any pain in his knee.

To continue the progress during his visit to the Bay Area, Barnes invited a bunch of his old UCLA college teammates, including Baron Davis, Arron Afflalo and Trevor Ariza, to act as celebrity coaches at the EA Sports Matt Barnes Basketball Camp, running today through Friday.

“There’s no better way [to continue the rehab process] than to play with guys I played college ball with who are in the pros now,” Barnes says.

The EA camp, Barnes’ fourth year hosting, gives kids the chance to learn basketball skills while also playing new video games and seeing how EA Sports operates day to day.

“It’s great for the campers to come here and, along with Matt, learn the skills needed to be successful and competitive on the basketball court, but also get a really good inside look at how video games are made,” said EA Sports’ Lifestlye Marketing Manager Roy Stigall, who grew up with Barnes in Sacramento.

Barnes also sponsored 15 kids from the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA to participate in the camp for free.

Just last week, he visited the UCLA Children’s Cancer Ward, and on Aug. 12 he’ll be hosting a celebrity golf tournament in Rancho Palos Verdes to benefit Athletes vs. Cancer.

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Chris Middleton

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