Minnesota guard J.J. Barea entered Mavericks nation after Dallas’ first Finals appearance in 2006 and helped them win their first Larry O’Brien trophy in 2011.
Both Barea’s former and current teams enter this Nov. 8, 2013 exhibition with a 3-2 win-loss record so far this season. Since Barea joined the Timberwolves, Minnesota has not advanced into the playoffs.
Following the Mavericks’ Finals championship when the league experienced a lockout, Dallas owner Mark Cuban let go of free agents including Barea. While I have known this owner to make wise decisions, like keeping power forward Dirk Nowitzki who has played for the Mavs his entire 15-year NBA career, I thought that he was off his rocker to release Barea.
However, Barea appreciates his relationship with the Cubes and would not mind returning to the team where he was a rookie if the opportunity arises again, as he recently revealed to ESPNDeportes.com‘s Gonzalo Aguirregomezcorta.
One reunion will not take place when the Mavs play on the Wolves’ hardwood. That would have been the one between Renaldo Balkman and Barea, who both represented Puerto Rico in FIBA during the NBA offseason. Balkman, who also played for the PBA in my native country, the Philippines, entered training camp during the Mavs’ preseason butultimately was not a good fit for the team.
Two out of my Tipoff Trio, Nowitzki and small forward Shawn Marion, won the Finals for Dallas with Barea. The third member of my Tipoff Trio, swingman Vince Carter, has been a facilitator for the Mavs after their championship but will not play this game as he is suspended for one game after his ejection.
This is Carter’s first-ever suspension as he enters his 16th season with the league, yet the full force “Half Man Half Amazing” is still a present world class Mav while Barea was a past one who indeed brought the team success.