Mavs Spotlight - J.J. Barea (Offseason Edition)
"Mavs Spotlight" is a series of exclusive one-on-one video interviews conducted by Mavs.com's Earl K. Sneed with various Dallas Mavericks players and coaches. In this edition, reserve guard J.J. Barea talks about the backup point guard competition and his desire to play for the Puerto Rico National Team.
The shortest player on the Mavericks' roster embodies so much in his 6-foot frame.
Barea, a fan favorite for his grittiness and offensive spark off the Dallas bench, has been instrumental in the Mavs' success in recent seasons. But not even Barea's toughness and heart was able to will his squad in its 4-2 series defeat to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
"We just had bad luck in the first round of the playoffs," Barea said. "It's disappointing, but you've got to move on...We needed to score over 100 every game and we weren't doing that. We were trying to play that grind-out game against the Spurs. That wasn't going to work."
This season, the Puerto Rico native got a little competition for the duties of the second-string point guard behind veteran Jason Kidd.
With the emergence of rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, Barea has a challenger for the title of "point guard of the future," though neither player looks at it that way. Instead, Barea is willing to lend a helping hand to his first-year teammate, assisting the young pro's maturation process.
"Roddy (Beaubois) is a great person. He has great character, so it's easy to be supportive and to help him out," Barea explained.
Now, while Beaubois will try to better himself in Summer League, Barea will look to do the same when he suits up for his native country in international play.
"I love to play for Puerto Rico...This summer, I definitely want to play. We're going to have a long summer, so I have time to rest, I have time to work out and I have time to play," Barea said.
Hear more of what the Mavs' spark plug of the bench had to say:
The series concludes Saturday, when "EKS" chats with Brendan Haywood. For all of your off-season news on the Dallas Mavericks, visit Mavs.com. Follow Earl K. Sneed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EarlKSneed.