11 Mavericks cult heroes everyone else should have loved

The rest of the NBA should have loved these Mavericks.
Dallas Mavericks, J.J. Barea
Dallas Mavericks, J.J. Barea / Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
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4. J.J. Barea

The 5’10 point guard out of Puerto Rico was never supposed to make it to the NBA. He went undrafted in 2006 after four years at Northeastern University. Barea earned a contract with the Mavericks and kept the spot with a strong training camp. He rarely played in his first two seasons, but became the backup point guard in year three. Barea worked his way into that chance and continued to improve.

The Mavericks needed Jose Juan Barea to win the 2011 championship. Dwyane Wade gave him credit for altering the series. Barea was guarding LeBron James and creating easy buckets at the other end. He played more as the series went on and started the final three games, which were all Mavs wins.

The 5’10 point guard departed for Minnesota after the championship but returned in 2014. He became one of the best pick-and-roll ball handlers in the NBA and a straight bucket. Barea had outstanding chemistry with Dirk Nowitzki and there were few answers for their two-man game.

J.J. Barea played his final game with the Dallas Mavericks in 2020. He was a fan favorite and legend throughout his 11 years with the team. MFFLs love Barea, and he deserves more credit for helping the Mavs win it all in 2011.