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Mavericks release JJ Barea; veteran seeks to continue playing

Photo: Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks released JJ Barea on Thursday, turning loose the last piece of the 2011 championship team. The veteran is expected to continue his career elsewhere.

In an emotional farewell virtual press conference, the 36-year-old guard said he could return to Dallas, especially during a season covered in uncertainty due to COVID-19.

“It’s a tough day,” said Barea, per Associated Press, via Star Tribune. “It still hasn’t hit me. It’s been an amazing time here in Dallas. I wouldn’t change anything. This city saw me as a kid. This city saw me grow up.”

“I want to make sure everybody knows I want to play,” Barea added. “Anything could happen this year, with the COVID, injuries. I might be back here in Dallas playing. I’ve seen it all in the NBA. I’ve seen some crazy stuff.”

Barea entered the NBA as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Mavericks in 2006. He was a huge part of the Mavs’ championship run alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and others in the 2010/11 season.

He has averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 assists in 831 NBA games.

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