Chris Ballard’s Sports Illustrated profile of Matt Barnes received considerable notice for the Clippers forward’s comments concerning Kobe Bryant (and to some extent, for tales of Allen Iverson dropping $40K at a strip club), but of some import are Barnes’ attempts to manufacture motivation with the help online haters across the globe :

Sometimes, Barnes clicks on profiles, to see who’s dissing him. Sometimes he responds. Then he seeks out more insults. He admits this is a bit masochistic, but he fears that without sufficient anger he will lose his edge. And, to Barnes, that edge is everything. “That negativity is what keeps that chip on my shoulder, what makes me a dog, what makes me an a–hole on the court.” he says. And being an a–hole, he knows, is what’s kept him in the league. So he stores away the criticisms. Later, during the game, if he needs inspiration during a down moment, he cues up the hecklers in his head. “And then I’ll be like, ‘Lock back in, let’s go!’”

Barnes is so grateful for your disrespect that he even has a gesture planned. “If I ever win a ring, I’m going to get it sized for my middle finger,” he says. “To thank all the people who doubted me, because you guys are what drove me to my ultimate goal.”