All summer long, NBA Game Time's celebrating the global reach of the game we love. Over the course of 90 days - leading up to the 2014 Global Games in October - get to know more about the international faces of the NBA. Day 7 brings…
JJ Barea (G, Minnesota Timberwolves), Puerto Rico
Height: 1.83 m, 6-feet-0 inches | Weight: 79 kg, 174 pounds | Born: 26 June, 1984
JJ Barea's spent his career aiming higher. And not just because he's 6 feet tall.
Barea's taken an uphill path to a steady spot on an NBA roster. He started by going undrafted in the 2006 NBA draft, then landing a spot on the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks' Summer League rosters.
His performance in the summer of 2006 earned a contract with the Dallas Mavericks, but midway through the 2006-07 season he was assigned to play for the Fort Wayne Flyers in the NBA Development League. In seven games, he ignited the Flyers, averaging 31.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.0 rebounds, including back-to-back 40+ point games.
Proving his readiness for the big stage, Barea developed into an integral part of the Dallas Mavericks. He had a vital impact in the Mavericks' brilliant run to claiming the 2011 NBA title, and impressed with his speedy maneuverability and sheer guts in attacking the basket.
Since the 2011-12 season, Barea has contributed offensive energy off the bench to a Minnesota Timberwolves team looking to jump back into the postseason for the first time since 2003-04. Last season despite averaging only 18.6 minutes per game he still distinguished himself as a scoring threat with 8.4 points per game.
Revamping the Minnesota Timberwolves is a tall order – or not so tall in Barea's case – but he proves a little guy can play in a big man's game.
2013-14 Season: GP: 79 | MPG: 18.6 | PTS: 8.4 | REB: 1.9 | AST: 3.8
Season Highlight: He scored a season-high 21 points per game on two occasions, once against the Denver Nuggets on November 15, 2013 and again versus the Portland Trail Blazers on February 23, 2014.
*NBA Champion with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011
*2nd Puerto Rican to win an NBA Championship, the first was Butch Lee in 1980 with the LA Lakers
5 Things To Know…
1. The Fort Worth Flyers retired his number 11 jersey for his seven-game performance in the NBA Development League.
2. His favorite clothing brand is Hugo Boss. (Chat Sports)
3. He listens to Reggaeton and Bob Marley. (Chat Sports)
4. He is the seventh Puerto Rican to play in the NBA, and began representing Puerto Rico in international play at the age of 16. He told ESPN "I love defending that Puerto Rican jersey."
5. He lead his high school, Miami Christian School, to the 2002 Florida State Championship title
Check out Barea's photos and video in the LEAGUE section of the NBA Game Time app.
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