José Juan "J.J." Barea Mora (born June 26, 1984) is a Puerto Rican professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for Northeastern University before joining the Mavericks in 2006 and becoming just the seventh Puerto Rican to play in the NBA. He went on to win an NBA championship with the Mavericks in 2011 before signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he played for the next three seasons. He has also played in the NBA Development League and the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.
Barea was a member of the Puerto Rican national team that won the gold medal in the 2006 and 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. He was the starting point guard for Puerto Rico when they won the gold medal in the 2011 Pan American Games and the silver medal in the 2007 Pan American Games.
Barea was born in the Puerto Rican municipality of Mayagüez in 1984 to parents Marta (née Mora) and Jaime Barea. Growing up in Mayagüez, Barea was a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 790 for seven years.
In 2001, Barea starting playing basketball for Indios de Mayagüez of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN). Later that year, he moved to the United States to attend high school at Miami Christian School in Miami, Florida. As a senior in 2001–02, he averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals in helping his team to the state title and a 38–2 record. He made a name for himself nationally at the City of Palms event in December 2001 when he was the team's leading scorer at the event and showcased an accurate shot from three-point range. In April 2002, he enrolled at Northeastern University.
After enrolling at Northeastern, Barea returned to Puerto Rico where he again joined Indios de Mayagüez for the 2002 BSN season where in 14 games, he averaged 2.8 points per game.
As a freshman at Northeastern in 2002–03, Barea earned third-team All-AEC and AEC All-Rookie team honors after averaging 17.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.9 steals in 28 games. His 17.0 ppg led the America East Conference in scoring and subsequently became the first Husky freshman to record 400 points and 100 assists in a season, and led NU with a team-high 25 double-figure scoring games.
As a sophomore in 2003–04, Barea earned first-team All-AEC honors after he finished second in the conference in scoring (20.7 ppg) and assists (5.8 apg), becoming the first Husky since Reggie Lewis in 1986–87 to average at least 20 points per game.
As a junior in 2004–05, Barea ranked second in the America East and eighth in the country in scoring (22.2 ppg). He also led the conference and was fifth in the nation in assists (7.3 apg). He subsequently earned first-team All-AEC honors for the second straight year. In addition, he placed third in assists (218), fourth in three-pointers (68) and sixth in points (665) on Northeastern's single-season charts, and tied the school record with a career-high 41 points against Stony Brook. He was also named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award.
As a senior in 2005–06, Barea was named Honorable Mention All-America by The Associated Press, Player of the Year in the CAA, first-team All-CAA, first-team NABC All-District 1, and Mid-Major Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. He finished third in the country in assists (8.4 apg) and led Northeastern and finished 19th in the nation in scoring (21.0 ppg). He was again named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award. He finished his career as the school's second all-time leading scorer with 2,209 points behind Reggie Lewis. He also leaves Northeastern as its second all-time leader in assists with 721 and leader in three-point field goals made (255).
In April 2006, Barea had a productive participation at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia, finishing with averages of 14.0 points, 13.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game in three contests. Barea broke the single-game and single-tournament assist records, dishing out 18 assists for Beach Barton Ford in a 118–100 victory over Norfolk Sports Club, giving him 41 assists in three games. For his efforts, Barea received the tournament's first Allen Iverson A.I. award, given to the player deemed most important to his team.
Following the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Barea returned to Puerto Rico and joined Cangrejeros de Santurce for the 2006 BSN season where in 9 games, he averaged 10.4 points, 2.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Dallas Mavericks (2006–2011)
After going undrafted in the 2006 NBA draft, Barea joined the Golden State Warriors for the 2006 Las Vegas Summer League where in five games, he averaged 6.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals in 21.4 minutes per game. He then joined the Dallas Mavericks for the Rocky Mountain Revue where in three games, he averaged 12.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 25.0 minutes per game.
On August 17, 2006, Barea signed a multi-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. On November 4, 2006, he made his regular season debut for the Mavericks, recording two points in two and a half minutes of action in a 76–107 loss to the Houston Rockets.
On January 17, 2007, Barea was assigned to the Fort Worth Flyers of the NBA Development League. On January 29, he was named the D-League Performer of the Week after he topped 40 points in two different games while leading the Flyers to a 3-1 record. On February 1, 2007, he was recalled by the Mavericks after he averaged 27.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.3 steals in eight D-League games.
On April 13, 2007, Barea recorded a season-high 16 points in an 89–104 loss to the Utah Jazz. Four days later, he started his first career game for the Mavericks as he record 13 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists in an 82–111 loss to the Golden State Warriors. He finished his rookie season with averages of 2.4 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.7 steals in 33 regular season games. He also played two playoff games for the Mavericks, scoring 0 points in three and a half total minutes.
In July 2007, Barea re-joined the Dallas Mavericks for the 2007 Las Vegas Summer League where in five games, he averaged 16.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 27.6 minutes per game.
On November 3, 2007, he recorded a then career-high 25 points in a 123–102 win over the Sacramento Kings. He went on to appear in 44 regular season games (9 starts) for the Mavericks in 2007–08 while averaging 4.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 10.5 minutes per game. He also managed one playoff game where he scored eight points against the New Orleans Hornets.
On July 9, 2008, Barea re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks to a three-year deal. In 2008–09, Barea's role on the team increased dramatically. Injuries to Jerry Stackhouse, Josh Howard and Jason Terry saw Barea's minutes per game double as coach Rick Carlisle began regularly using a three-guard lineup which included Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Barea to spark an offensive streak in games. On February 20, 2009, Barea scored a then career high 26 points in an 86–93 loss to the Houston Rockets.
In the 2009 playoffs, Barea became a starter during the first round, replacing Antoine Wright in an effort to contain Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs. He scored 13 points and 7 assists in his first playoff start.
In 2009–10, Barea again played an important role off the bench for the Mavericks. In 78 games (18 starts), he averaged 7.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 19.8 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 23 points two times during the season, and played in all six of the Mavericks' playoff games where they once again lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
In June 2010, the Mavericks exercised their $1.8 million 2010–11 team option on Barea's contract.
In 2010–11, Barea played a career-high 81 regular season games as he averaged 9.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 20.6 minutes per game. On January 1, 2011, he scored a then career high 29 points in an 87–99 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
In the 2011 playoffs, the Mavericks faced the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. In the second game of the series, Barea scored 12 points from the bench to lead a fourth-quarter rally which resulted in a 93–81 win for Dallas. With the game already decided and 24 seconds remaining, Barea was clotheslined by Lakers' forward Ron Artest; Artest was later suspended. After the game, the Lakers praised Barea's game with Phil Jackson even comparing him to Chris Paul while Kobe Bryant said that "Barea kicked our asses".
In the last game of the series, the Mavericks defeated the Lakers, eliminating them. Barea was the second-leading scorer for his team with 22 points and 8 assists. During the fourth quarter, Lakers' center Andrew Bynum threw an elbow at Barea as he was driving for a layup. Barea fell down hard while Bynum was immediately ejected. Although Barea recovered and finished the game, he called the foul "dangerous". Initially Bynum was unapologetic about the incident saying, "We were getting embarrassed. They were breaking us down. So I just fouled somebody." He later issued a formal apology to the league and Barea. The NBA suspended Bynum for the first five games in the next season, but later shortened the suspension to four games due to the lockout-shortened season.
The Mavericks went on to advance to the NBA Finals where the faced the Miami Heat. In what took six games, the Mavericks defeated the Heat 4 games to 2, claiming their first NBA championship in the franchise's history. Barea also became just the second Puerto Rican player to win an NBA championship, following Butch Lee in 1980. Barea played all 21 playoff games for the Mavericks which included three starts. He averaged 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 18.6 minutes per game.
Minnesota Timberwolves (2011–2014)
Following failed negotiations with the Dallas Mavericks to re-sign with the franchise, Barea started looking elsewhere, but because of the NBA lockout, he was unable to sign anywhere. On December 14, 2011, following the conclusion of the lockout, Barea signed a four-year, $19 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On December 26, 2011, Barea made his debut for the Timberwolves, recording 14 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds in a 100–104 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Barea's season was hampered with ankle and thigh injuries as he managed just 41 of 66 games for the Timberwolves in 2011–12. Despite this, on March 23, 2012, Barea scored his first career triple-double, recording 25 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in a 149–140 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. During the last weeks of the season, and with injuries to starters Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Luke Ridnour, Barea became the starting point guard, averaging 15.8 points and 9.4 assists during the last 9 games. During that period, Barea recorded a season-high 28 points and a career-high 15 assists.
Barea began the season with 21 points and 5 assists against the Sacramento Kings on November 2, 2012. However, in his fourth game, he sprained his left foot, which caused him to miss the next five games. During December, Barea averaged more than 25 minutes and 12.7 points per game coming off the bench. He had his best game of the season on April 12, when he scored 23 points against the Utah Jazz and finished the season with averages of 11.3 points, 4.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game.
In 2013–14, Barea served as the Timberwolves back-up point guard behind Ricky Rubio. He had his best offensive game in November 15, against the Denver Nuggets, scoring 21 points with 4 assists. In January, Timberwolves star Kevin Love indirectly criticized teammates Barea and Dante Cunningham for their behavior during game timeouts. Barea finished the season averaging 8.4 points and 3.8 assists per game.
Return to Dallas (2014–present)
On October 29, 2014, Barea signed with the Dallas Mavericks, returning to the franchise for a second stint. In his first game back for Dallas the following day, Barea received a standing ovation from the American Airlines Center crowd upon entering the game off the bench during the first quarter. He went on to record 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in the 120–102 win over the Utah Jazz. On February 11, 2015, Barea scored a season-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting in the 87-82 win over the Utah Jazz.
On July 16, 2015, Barea re-signed with the Mavericks to a four-year, $16 million contract. On December 23, 2015, Barea scored a career-high 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting in a 119–118 overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets. Three days later, he made a career-high seven three-pointers and finished with 26 points in a 118–111 win over the Chicago Bulls. On March 30, 2016, he scored 26 points and made the go-ahead layup with 49.9 seconds left as the Mavericks rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the New York Knicks 91–89. On April 6, he helped the Mavericks win their fifth straight game, recording game highs of 27 points and 8 assists in an 88–86 victory over the Houston Rockets. Having become the Mavericks' sparkplug late in the season with Deron Williams sidelined, Barea suffered his own injury on April 8, a right groin strain which forced him to leave the game against the Memphis Grizzlies after just eight minutes. The groin injury continued to bother him for the rest of the regular season and into the Mavericks' first round playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Barea began his international career with Puerto Rico's Under-19 team, participating in the Under-19 World Championship where he finished tied for third place of the tournament's Most Valuable Player poll. His next international representation came at Caguas, Puerto Rico in the Under-21 Centrobasket tournament where Puerto Rico won the gold medal. Barea was awarded the competition's Most Valuable Player recognition after leading the tournament in scoring, assists and steals. His last participation at the Under-21 level occurred at the World Championships where he finished fourth in scoring, with an average of 17.6 points per game and led the competition in assists with 7.3 per game, as Puerto Rico finished seventh.
In July 2006, Barea made his debut for the senior national team in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games where Puerto Rico won the gold medal. Here he scored a decisive three point basket with fourteen seconds left in the championship game against Panama, giving Puerto Rico a final advantage. In this tournament Puerto Rico finished undefeated with six straight victories. He was selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Barea was the primary point guard for the Puerto Rican team that participated in the 2007 Pan American Games, where the team won the silver medal. Later that year, he had limited participation in the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament, where Puerto Rico won the bronze medal. In 2008, Barea participated in a series of preparatory tournaments, before attending an Olympic qualificatory event. In these exhibition games, he performed in the team's starting position. The Olympic Qualifying Tournament began on July 14, 2008, with Barea returning to the back-up position behind Carlos Arroyo. Puerto Rico advanced to the finals, but didn't qualify to the Olympic games. In this tournament Barea had averages of 12.4 points, 2.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Barea continued playing in the backup position at the 2008 CentroBasket tournament. He entered the final round leading the event in points, after scoring 31 and 30 points against Panama and the Dominican Republic. In the last two games, Barea was placed in the team's starting lineup. Puerto Rico won the tournament's gold medal by defeating the United States Virgin Islands. Following this game, Barea received the event's Most Valuable Player award. In 2009, the Mavericks didn't give Barea permission to play in the FIBA Americas Championship. This decision was based on the fact that the player had undergone surgery on his left shoulder during the post-season. Barea returned to international play at the 2010 CentroBasket, serving as the national team's starting point guard, Arroyo was in turn reassigned to the regular shooting guard position. Puerto Rico won its group, defeating Panama in semifinals and the Dominican Republic in the final to win the gold medal. Barea had averages of 13.8 points per game and led CentroBasket in assists per game with 7.0, earning him inclusion in the tournament's All-Star Team.
Barea was one of the members of the Puerto Rico men's national basketball team that participated in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Although Puerto Rico was eliminated after the Preliminary Round, Barea ended up as the leading scorer of the Cup during that first round. Barea accumulated 110 points in 5 games, for an average of 22.0 points per game. Barea's scoring statistics were above players like Luis Scola, Andray Blatche, Pau Gasol, and Francisco García.
International Tournaments statistics
|2015 FIBA Americas Championship||2015||6||27.5||.520||.474||.846||4.3||7.8||21.3|
|2015 Marchand Continental Championship Cup||2015||1||32||.500||.250||.750||9.0||8.0||17.0|
|2015 Pan American Games||2015||4||20.0||.406||.200||1.00||1.5||2.8||11.5|
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes season in which Barea won an NBA championship|
While listed as 6'0" by the NBA, Barea's mother believes his actual height is around 5'10".
In March 2011, Barea confirmed he was in a relationship with Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera. In July 2011, they confirmed that they were expecting their first child. Rivera gave birth to Sebastián José Barea Rivera in February 2012. Barea was present during the birth. The couple later split in April 2013.
In the summer of 2013, Barea started dating actress and Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2011 Viviana Ortiz. In February 2016, they confirmed that they were expecting their first child. Paulina Barea Ortiz was born in March 31, 2016.