Dallas Mavericks: Ranking the top-10 players of the decade

Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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DALLAS, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 06: J.J. Barea #5 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after scoring against the Orlando Magic in the second period at American Airlines Center on November 06, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

6. J.J. Barea

When Mark Twain said ” It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” He must have been talking about Jose Juan “J.J.” Barea. The love shown to JJ by Dallas Mavericks home fans is second only to Dirk Nowitzki. Whenever J.J. checks into the game, hits a shot or does anything the home crowd comes to life. JJ brings an energy to the American Airlines Center that you’d have to witness to understand.

The undrafted Barea was invited to join the Dallas Mavericks in 2006 Summer League team. He would be assigned to then Developmental League affiliate Fort Worth Flyers in January 2007. After averaging 27.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.3 steals in eight D-League games JJ would be called up to join the Mavericks. Barea would play an important bench role for the Mavs for most of his 13 year career.

During the Dallas Mavericks 2011 playoff run JJ earned his place on this list. During the second round the Mavericks faced the back-to-back championship Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavericks would go on to sweep the Lakers four games to none. Kobe Bryant would say after the series “Barea kicked our asses.”

During the finals Dallas played the heavily favored Miami Heat. J.J. Barea would be inserted into the Mavericks starting lineup after Miami took a 2-1 lead. The Mavericks would go on to win the series four games to two thanks largely to Barea’s play.