Following the elimination of his Puerto Rican team – Cangrejeros de Santurce – from the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) playoffs this week, veteran guard J.J. Barea said in a Spanish-language interview that he intends to retire as a basketball player, according to Jorge Figueroa Loza of El Nuevo Día (hat tip to Eurohoops).
“I’m ready,” Barea said, according to a translation provided to Hoops Rumors. “Last year was tough mentally, and I wasn’t ready. This year I am, and I’m at peace with retiring.”
Barea last appeared in the NBA when he played 29 games in 2019/20 for the Mavericks. He subsequently spent a few months with Estudiantes in Spain at the start of 2021, then joined Cangrejeros de Santurce in his native Puerto Rico last May, re-signing with the team in February 2022.
Barea, who previously played for Cangrejeros de Santurce in 2006, expressed satisfaction that he got to finish his career with the Puerto Rican squad, even though the club was eliminated in the postseason quarterfinals in back-to-back years and a left leg injury prevented the 38-year-old from playing in the last game of the season.
From 2006-20, Barea appeared in a total of 831 regular season NBA games and 50 more playoff contests for Dallas and Minnesota, averaging 8.9 PPG, 3.9 APG, and 2.1 RPG on .424/.352/.794 shooting in 19.6 MPG. He was a key member of the Mavericks team that won a title in 2011, appearing in all 21 playoff games during the championship run.
Now that he has retired as a player, Barea said he plans to “take a break from basketball” to mentally recharge. However, he seems likely to end up sooner or later in a coaching role for one of his former teams.
He told El Nuevo Día that he’d liked to remain involved with Cangrejeros de Santurce, and also spoke last summer after working with Dallas’ Summer League team about his interest in a position with the Mavs.