Dallas Mavericks: J.J. Barea gets emotional in final Mavs press conference
The Dallas Mavericks officially closed a storied chapter in their franchise’s history on Dec. 10. They released J.J. Barea from his contract. The Mavs entered training camp with 16 guaranteed deals and had to make a move before opening night. They decided to do it now to give Barea a chance to catch on with another team.
The Mavericks legend was the final member of the 2011 championship team still on the roster. Dallas does not bring home that title without Barea. He remains a fan favorite and franchise icon. It was sad to see the 36-year-old depart after 11 seasons with the Mavs.
J.J. Barea had his final press conference as a Mavericks player on Dec. 10. Things got emotional as the legend said goodbye to Dallas. Let us take a look at some highlights.
J.J. Barea gets emotional in his final press conference as Dallas Mavericks player
The Mavericks legend was asked about how he felt about his time in Dallas ending. Barea responded with the following.
"“It is a tough day. It happened pretty quick. It still hasn’t hit me, but I woke up today super happy. It has been an amazing time here in Dallas. I wouldn’t change anything. The messages and all the DMs from the fans everywhere in Dallas have been amazing.”"
It was a difficult day for everyone. Fans were sad to see him go, but the Mavs are prioritizing getting younger and more versatile. Wesley Iwundu gives them an intriguing 3-and-D wing for their final roster spot.
Barea responded on who he would pass the leadership tag to on the Mavericks.
"“It’s a young team. It’s a really young team. If I got to hand it out, I’ll go with Dwight Powell. We’ve been together for a bunch of years now. He’s the one guy I think if guys learn from him just by watching him and listening to him, I think they’ll be good professional players.”"
Powell is looking healthy and running with the starters in camp. He is the Mavericks representative in the Player’s Association too. After his injury last season, the Mavs missed Powell’s energy and offensive punch. He will do well in taking over the leadership reigns.
The veteran point guard was also asked about potentially having a role with the Mavericks down the road. See his response below.
"“For sure, I still want to play this year. I feel great and I want to finish the year playing. Hopefully, that will happen. In the future, I would love to come back and help this team again. My goal is to coach at the highest level, and I know I will be great, especially here in Dallas. I definitely want to play this year, take a break after with the family. Enjoy my kids, but I want to stay around the game. Yes, I want to come back here and not as a player as a coach or as anything. Stay around the game and end up coaching at some point. “"
Barea also got choked up in the interview discussing Dallas and what the city means to him. He called it his “second home”. Expect J.J. to be back with the Mavericks at some point. See his entire final press conference below.
Hopefully, J.J. Barea finds another basketball home this season, but he will always be a Dallas Maverick. Fans will never forget his countless incredible moments leading the Mavs second unit. He will forever be a Mavericks legend. Everyone should be thankful Barea played in Dallas. Here is to wishing him the best going forward.