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Mavs’ J.J. Barea jokes he carried Dirk Nowitzki in the 2011 NBA playoffs

Dirk Nowitzki, JJ Barea, Mavs

J.J. Barea, the diminutive point guard that has played with the Dallas Mavericks for 9 out of the 12 years of his career, has also logged 592 career games alongside NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki. Tonight, in what was likely Nowitzki’s final regular season game in Dallas of his career, the crowd and franchise rolled out the red carpet for the 7-foot German icon.

It was a complete showcase night for Dirk, and the festivities, called “Dirk Day” included many of his elder statesmen Mavs teammates chiming in pregame and during halftime about playing alongside him for so many years. Barea, however, stole the show as this video entails.

At the one-minute mark, Barea quips that he carried Dirk in the 2011 Playoffs, which was, of course, the year that the Mavs upset the heavily favored Heat and delivered Dirk his lone title.

Barea has played extremely well as the team’s longtime backup point guard, and even this year, Barea was an important of the team to start the year, as he saw action in 38 games and was delivering his usual 10 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds off the bench – even at age 34. However, Barea’s season ended abruptly when he ruptured his Achilles, which required season-ending surgery. Though tonight was completely about Dirk for the Mavs, Barea’s remains an important ancillary piece in the history of this franchise.