Photo: Tony Avelar/ Associated Press

Matt Barnes didn’t accept his ring when he was playing in Golden State in 2017. Barnes claimed that he is not considering himself an NBA champion.

The former defensive specialist joined the Warriors mid-season in 2017, when Kevin Durant was out with an MCL sprain.

“I got a free ride,” Barnes said on a recent episode of Showtime’s “All The Smoke” during an interview with Tracy McGrady.

“I got a free ring. So that’s (why) when they say, ‘NBA champ,’ I don’t count myself as an NBA champ for the exact same reason you said. The journey is what makes you want to say, ‘Yeah, I helped,” Barnes noted, per

McGrady also said he wouldn’t have been able to accept a ring, in case the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals.

Barnes, who played for 9 teams during his 14-year career in the NBA, revealed he left the championship ring with the Warriors senior vice president of communications Raymond Ridder.