Q&A with former Maverick J.J. Barea

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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J.J. Barea just completed his second season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 11.3 points and four assists per game.

The former Maverick and native of Puerto Rico is one of the top playmakers and ball-handlers in the league. He played five seasons in Dallas, including the championship season of 2010-11.

Barea took time to answer a few questions when he returned to North Texas recently to participate in Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Baseball Celebrity Classic in Frisco.

How do you think the draft went for the Timberwolves? I think it went good. We made some good moves. I think the big boy [Gorgui Dieng] is going to help.

What does the off-season look like for you this summer? For now, it’s traveling a lot. Hang out with my family in Puerto Rico and then getting ready to play with the national team for one tournament. Then I’ll just keep that same routine all the way through to training camp.

What’s it like to see so many players you’ve been around and played with start to enter the coaching ranks? Yeah, [Jason] Kidd — I know that he really wanted to do that, and I didn’t think it would happen that fast. I think he’ll rise up to the challenge and make some good moves to help that team out. Eddie [Najera] is doing good, too, with the Legends [in the NBA D-League]. He’s the kind of guy that takes everything he does seriously and as a pro, so I don’t expect anything but the best from him.

What’s it like getting in the batting cage here? I haven’t done it in a number of years. Right now, my hands just hurt. It’s cool. It’s different. If you did it when you’re young, it’s kind of like riding a bike, but at the very least you really get a sense of what the baseball players go through.

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