Mavs’ JJ Barea skipping FIBA WC to focus on rehabbing Achilles
Barea, the 35-year-old fixture of Puerto Rico’s national team, is rehabilitating his Achilles tendon after suffering a tear in January. Despite being on track for a full recovery, Barea is opting now to play with the national team to instead focus on rehab.
Barea told ESPN that the decision was “extremely difficult” due to his pride for the United State commonwealth territory.
Barea told ESPN that this was an extremely difficult decision due to how much pride he takes in representing Puerto Rico. He’s still trying to help his national team in the World Cup by recruiting pro players with Puerto Rican roots.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 20, 2019
The Mavericks re-signed their veteran guard to a one-year, minimum deal this offseason while Barea recovers and is expected to be back for next season. Barea has spent 10 non-consecutive seasons with the Dallas franchise including winning a ring with the championship team in 2011.
Barea has averaged 9.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 19.7 minutes per game and 802 appearances in his 13-year NBA career while shooting 42.4% from the field, 35.1% from 3-point range, and 79.2% from the free throw line. The diminutive point guard spent four years at Northeastern before going undrafted in the 2006 class. Barea is one of the undrafted success stories in the league, parlaying an unheralded entry into the Association into a long and stories career.
Barea has long been a big pillar for the Puerto Rican national team, helping the various squads medal at tournaments like the FIBA Americas Championship, Central American and Caribbean Games, and Pan Americas Games.