Former NBA player J.J. Barea lands head coaching job in the Puerto Rican Basketball League
The Puerto Rican native retired from his playing career last year, and will now coach in his birthplace.
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This past weekend, it was reported that retired NBA player J.J. Barea was hired for a new head coaching position.
According to numerous reports, Barea will become the new head coach of Mets de Guaynabo in Baloncesto Superior Nacional of the Puerto Rico national basketball league.
Barea joins the coaching ranks three years after retiring from the NBA.
Despite being 5’10” — about 9 inches shorter than the average NBA player — Barea managed to play 14 seasons in the NBA.
After going undrafted in the 2006 NBA Draft, he was signed to a free agent deal by the Dallas Mavericks. He played his first 5 seasons with the Mavericks, helping the team win the NBA championship in 2011.
Months after winning the championship, Barea signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he played for 3 seasons before returning to the Mavericks in 2014.
Barea played on the Mavericks until 2020. The following year, the Mavericks hired him as a player development coach. He’d play two more seasons overseas before announcing his retirement from professional basketball in July 2022.
Over his 14 seasons in the NBA, Barea averaged 8.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in about 19 minutes a game.
Now, he will be returning to his homeland in Puerto Rico to coach the Guaynabo Mets, who are considered one of the top teams in the Puerto Rican basketball league.
In April 2023, the Mets signed former 4-time NBA All-Star Demarcus Cousins.
Barea is no stranger to the Balconcesto Superior Nacional. In 2001, he began playing basketball for Indios de Mayagüez of the SBN before moving to the United States.
He’d spend his time living in Florida before enrolling at Northeastern University, where over his four years, established himself as one of the top players in the nation.
Barea had made it very clear after retiring that he had his sights set on joining the coaching ranks. His primary intention, however, was to be on the coaching staff in the NBA, preferably the Mavericks’.
“Everybody that knows me knows my first option will always be with the Mavs. I would love to be with the Mavs,” he told Mavs.com.
“But if that [doesn't] work out, then I’ve got to look for another option and see what I can do,” he added.
Once the season begins, Barea will get the opportunity to see what he can do in the Puerto Rican basketball league, potentially paving the way for him to join the NBA in a coaching capacity in the future.