Mavs’ JJ Barea expresses desire to play for Puerto Rico in FIBA World Cup
Dallas Mavericks guard JJ Barea wants to play for Puerto Rico in the FIBA World Cup but admits that it might be difficult to do so.
Per Eddie Sefko of mavs.com, the 34-year-old Puerto Rican is certain that he wants to represent his country in the FIBA World Cup from late August to mid-September 2019. However, since he’s coming off an Achilles tear, and also a free agent (although the Mavs certainly plan on keeping him) he’ll have to weigh his decision carefully.
“I 100 percent want to do it,” Barea said. “It’s a possibility. A couple weeks before, I’ll decide. It’s going to be hard to do, but I don’t want to close the door on it. My doctors say I should be able to do whatever I want on the court by August.”
Barea suffered the injury in Jan. 11 and it subsequently ended his season. He feels better now but he seems to want to be in prime condition come the world tourney:
“I’m leaving the door open,” he said. “I know it’s going to be hard. We’ll see how it plays out. If I keep going the way I’m going, by August I should be feeling really good, so we’ll see.”
Barea has always had put on his best foot forward whenever he represents his country in basketball tourneys. Particularly in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship, he led the team to a silver finish and was named to the All-Tournament team. In the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Barea was the leading scorer of the preliminary round (110 points in five games), ahead of players like Pau Gasol, Luis Scola, and Andray Blatche.