Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes has found himself embroiled in a somewhat surreal controversy leading up to Friday’s third game in the playoff series between the Houston Rockets and the Clippers.

During the second game of the series, Barnes got into a verbal exchange with a fan in the arena. Unfortunately, the fan that Barnes chose to trash talk with was none other than James Harden’s mother.

According to Deadspin, the words that Matt Barnes used were decidedly inelegant in nature.

While Barnes personally apologized to Harden’s mom after the game and with a phone call later on Wednesday night, he has spent the better part of the past few days apologizing to the media for his words.

The excuse by way of explanation is a little weak (would Barnes have been perfectly fine trash talking any ol’ mom as long as she wasn’t the mother of another player?) but it’s certainly not surprising that Barnes didn’t look to make James Harden even more motivated by trash talking Harden’s loved ones.

This certainly isn’t the first time that Barnes has gotten in trouble for yelling at a fan in the stands, but this is the first time that he’s inadvertently come at an opposing player’s mother.

For his part, Harden labelled Barnes’ actions as “disrespectful” but he refused to make a bigger deal out of the whole incident.

“Any situation where you’re talking about somebody else’s parents, that’s just disrespectful,” Harden said after the Rockets’ morning shootaround at Staples Center. “I’m focused on Game 3 and we’re very focused and locked in. There will be some great intensity tonight.”

EDIT: Barnes has indeed been fined for the incident. The NBA apparently took this one really seriously as the league decided to fine Barnes $50,000 for saying… whatever he said to James Harden’s mom. By comparison, the NBA also handed out a $25,000 fine to Joakim Noah on Friday for pushing a fan during the Bulls-Cavs game on Wednesday.

[For the Win]