Jose Juan Barea, better known as J.J. Barea announced that he has retired from basketball. Barea spent most of his NBA career as part of the Dallas Mavericks. In his 11 total seasons with the Mavericks, he averaged 8.6 points per game (PPG), 2.0 rebounds per game (RPG), and 3.8 assists per game (APG). Barea was also part of the 2011 Mavericks team that won the NBA championship.
Barea averaged 8.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG during his entire NBA career.
He became an inspiration to Hispanic children everywhere, as he was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and raised in Miami, Florida during his high school years. Barea’s short stature made him an inspiration to all, as he defied the odds of not only making the league but being a valuable contributor to his team.
During his long-lasting career, he had many memorable moments that are still remembered by Mavs fans to this day.
Barea’s 2011 Western Conference Semifinals Performance
The unforgettable performance against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals was just a glimpse of what was to come in the finals. In the Lakers series, Barea averaged 11.5 PPG, 1.0 RPG, and 5.5 APG all while coming off the bench.
The Lakers couldn’t seem to find a way to stop him. Every play it seemed like he would find a way to slither past all the Lakers defenders and get to the basket for a layup. The biggest moment in the series happened in the fourth quarter of game four and it involved Barea and Bynum. The Mavericks were up 30 points in Game 4, with a 3-0 lead in the series, and the series was pretty much over. Barea drove to the basket for a layup when Bynum let out his frustration and elbowed him in the chest while Barea was mid-air. Bynum was ejected from the game immediately and Barea was able to get back up after a few seconds on the floor. That moment sparked a fire under the Mavericks and was the point at which the team kicked it into a different gear. As for the ball, when Barea got elbowed mid-air, it still made it into the basket and the Mavericks added another two points to their already landslide lead and eventual victory.
Barea’s 2011 NBA Finals Performance
Barea played a big part in helping the Mavericks win in the NBA Finals. He wasn’t the best scorer or defender in the series, but he did all the little things right. That is something that became a hallmark of his throughout his career. He averaged 8.8 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 3.2 APG in the NBA Finals, while getting the opportunity of starting in the final three games.
On the defensive end, Barea made it tough for the Heat to score and was even assigned to guard Lebron James on some plays. He gave his opponents no room to shoot and was a pest on defense. If they wanted to score, they had to go at him and risk getting an offensive foul called on them, Barea knew this and never let up on them.
On the offensive end, Barea would drive right past the Heat defenders and make the layup or stay outside the arc and made the three-pointers, it didn’t matter if Mike Bibby or Mario Chalmers was guarding him.
The best finals game from Barea was Game 5. He started for the Mavericks and scored 17 points (4-5 from beyond the arc), grabbed two rebounds, and dished out five assists. As a result of hard work and the help he gave his team in the playoffs, he along with all of his teammates were awarded at the end of Game 6 with the NBA Championship.
Barea Helps Puerto Rico
In 2017, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico and devastated the island, Barea did everything he could to aid his homeland and the citizens living there. Mark Cuban let him use the team plane to transport food and supplies to the island. In total, it took five trips to deliver 100,000 pounds of supplies to the island. Barea personally raised $500,000, another $270,000 through a Youcaring campaign, and $114,000 with the Mavericks from ticket sales that were for a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Barea also supplied the island with 600 bicycles.
Barea was awarded the NBA Cares Community Assist Award, the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, and the Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award for the humanitarian work that he put in to aid his native country of Puerto Rico.
The Fearless Floor General
Barea was the fearless floor general and wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line if it meant the Mavericks would succeed. He was the epitome of heart over height, he showed it doesn’t matter how tall you are, if you have the skills needed you can achieve your dreams. He had the ability to quickly slither past bigger opponents and they couldn’t stop him no matter how hard they tried. Barea is a perfect example of what being a Maverick is, he is “Un Caballo” (horse in Spanish, usually said when a person is excellent at something like sports).
In his native country of Puerto Rico, he is held in high regard as one of the best basketball players from there and is cherished by many for everything that he has done for the island. He will be remembered by Mavs fans for all the hard work he put into helping the team succeed, being a great leader to the other players, and his vibrant personality.
Barea is a Maverick for life.