1-on-1 with J.J. Barea

Quotes from the press conference

David Kahn: "Thank you all for coming, as we welcome J.J. Barea as the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. We're very excited to have J.J. for a number of reasons: One, he's a proven leader, on the floor and off. And I think he can help us in ways well beyond the basketball court. I think he's going to be a tremendous help in the locker room in terms of rallying the guys. Every basketball team isn't the same and I think he'll be a great help with that. Two, see the floor, make plays for himself, make plays for others. I think people have known that for a while, but I think they especially know that now after watching the finals last year and the NBA playoffs. He played such a big roll for the Dallas Mavericks. And as a side note, I think that he comes to us, having won a ring, it furthers his credentials on the court. Last, he's one of those guys that always has a smile on his face, always in the moment. I think for our team, which is still a young team and will have its' share of challenges, it's great to have someone involved with his personality and demeanor. Again, I'm just thrilled to have him with us, and very excited to see him in a Timberwolves uniform."

Jose Juan Barea: "I'm excited to be here. It's been a tough couple of weeks trying to find a team and I'm excited to be with the Timberwolves. I'm here to help this team as much as I can, bring energy and my passion for the game and my competitiveness. I'm here to do whatever I can for my team."

Question: How does it feel to be a grizzled wise old veteran at the age of 27?
Barea: “It's different, it's different. I still feel young, though, and I can relate with them too. It's going to be interesting but fun at the same time."

Question: When you were looking at teams to sign with, what ultimately made this the right fit for you?
Barea: “No one even came close to Minnesota, which wanted me the most. I thought the right amount of talent here and we could do some good things. I like the coaching staff, the way he coached with the Kings in Sacramento, so I think that made a big part of it."

Question: You said nobody even came close, was that all money or were there other things?
Barea: "Both, nobody really paid as much attention as Minnesota did, and yea both money and talking wise and commitment wise - nobody came close."

Question: When did you know you were leaving Dallas?
Barea: "The last couple of weeks. I was working out in Dallas and spoke to Mark Cuban and that's when he told me that they were going to go in another direction. So I was looking for new options."

Question: What's your thoughts from going from a championship team to a team who had the second to worst record in the NBA last season?
Barea: "Like I said, It's a new game for me, a new experience and I like it. I had to leave Puerto Rico to go to college and that was hard. I had to go to Dallas and prove myself in the NBA and that was hard, too. Helping this team out is going to be extremely hard but I'm ready and I'm excited."

Now teammates, @rickyrubio9 and JJ Barea pose for a pic before the press conference. http://yfrog.com/nv17xclj

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