Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Harrison Barnes leans on Scripture after learning of trade to Sacramento Kings

After two and a half years with the Dallas Mavericks, forward Harrison Barnes was traded to the Sacramento Kings during the Mavs’ game Wednesday night against Charlotte. The 26-year-old played three quarters and scored 10 points before learning of the trade. Whereas many players would have left the arena upon hearing such news, Barnes chose to stay on the bench with his teammates.

“He’s a better man than me, for sure,” veteran Dirk Nowitzki told ESPN. “Everybody else would have bounced. He’s just a generally good dude. He’s obviously got bonds with some of these players here for life, and that’s the kind of guy that he is.”

Barnes, who was Dallas’ leading scorer each of the past two seasons, did not speak with the media following the game, but later posted a message on social media. He thanked the organization, Mavs owner Mark Cuban, head coach Rick Carlisle and his teammates, and said he’s excited for the next chapter with Sacramento.

Barnes also posted a Scripture reference:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” — Isaiah 43:19

Barnes was drafted No. 7 overall by Golden State in 2012, and he spent four years with the Warriors before signing with Dallas as a free agent in 2016. He made a big impact on his teammates, fans and community in Dallas. Cuban thanked Barnes after the news became public.

Whether it is winning NBA titles with Golden State, leading the Mavericks in scoring, or dealing with a trade to Sacramento, Barnes leans on the Lord.

“I think in every type of situation you have to give praise to God,” he told the Smoking Cuban blog two years ago. “There is no valley without a mountain. There is always going to be an up with a down and it’s all cyclical. So you are either just finishing going through a tough period, about to go through a tough period, or you are right in the middle of one. I think no matter what, as long as you continue to just stay steadfast, stay in the faith, everyone has so many dreams and expectations, but at the end of the day it’s about putting God’s invitations before that.”

Barnes quotes British missionary and author C.T. Studd on his Instagram profile: “Only one life ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” As an NBA star, he knows he’s being watched closely, so Barnes aims to point people to Christ.

“The scrutiny is huge,” Barnes also told the Smoking Cuban, “just because people see athletes and immediately you are assessed as a role model, the standard, how you live, everything you do is critiqued and put under a microscope. What I have learned in my 24 years of being on this earth and walking with Christ is just no matter what you do, allow people to try to see Him [Christ] through you.”

In return for Barnes, the Mavericks will receive second-year forward Justin Jackson and veteran forward/center Zach Randolph from the Kings.

Both Dallas (25-28) and Sacramento (28-26) are right in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Western Conference with just under half of the season remaining.

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