J.J. Barea left the Dallas Mavericks this year insisting that he's not quite done playing professional basketball.
While playing for his national squad in Puerto Rico, Barea is demonstrating that he is correct - literally, as you are about to see, "winning the argument.''
Barea is now playing for Movistar Estudiantes in Spain, while also representing his native Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is battling for a berth to play in the AmeriCup tournament and is presently taking part in the qualifier games.
Puerto Rico over Mexico on Friday? No problem. Puerto Rico vs. the Bahamas on Saturday? No problem again, largely because of Barea’s 26 points in the game ... an explosion that including a buzzer-beating three-pointer that JJB made while literally still in a debate with a ref.
Barea is going to turn 37 in June ... but he still exhibits all of the traits, despite being "too small,'' that he put on display for 14 NBA seasons, 11 of them in Dallas where he was a key part of the 2010-2011 team that topped the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
JJB was hoping to catch on with another NBA team after his guaranteed-money release from the Mavs during training camp. When that didn't happen, some in Dallas were hoping he'd catch on as a member of the Mavs staff.
Maybe that is in his future. But now?
Barea earned every penny in his role with the Mavericks, and he continues to earn everything he gets now that he's stepped away from the NBA ... including, we bet, respect from the ref who watches here as JJB multi-tasks his way to a tournament win.
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