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JJ Barea ejected for flagrant foul on Ray Allen (Video)

JJ Barea Ray AllenJJ Barea was ejected for deliberately pushing Ray Allen during the Miami Heat’s 97-81 win over the Timberwolves in Minnesota Monday.

Barea felt like Allen had bumped (or elbowed) him while backing him down beyond the 3-point line with just over eight minutes left in the game and the Heat up 76-70. He responded by pushing Allen to the ground a few seconds later, causing a scuffle between the teams.

Barea, who at 6-foot-0 is the smallest player on the floor, was charged with a flagrant 2 foul, which calls for an automatic ejection.

During an interview on NBA TV after the game, Allen called Barea’s move “bush league.”

“Yeah, I thought it was a bush-league move by Barea, just kind of leveling me like that,” Allen told NBA TV’s Brent Barry. “I don’t care who you are in the league, you’ve got to defend yourself. You play the game the right way and I try to do that in my career. He got ejected for I think due purpose.”

Barea said after the game he felt Allen overreacted to a “little bump.”

“He hit me with an elbow almost close to my neck,” Barea complained after the game, per Eye on Basketball. “That’s part of the game and then I just gave him a bump back. I’ve been playing in the NBA for seven years. I’ve been hit, I get hit harder than that every night. I don’t get up crying, wanting to fight. (Former Lakers center Andrew) Bynum almost knocked me out for the rest of my life. I didn’t get up crying. You know? It’s a little bump so it’s part of the game. Don’t be like that. That’s why the refs got all upset about it but it’s just a little bump.

“That was terrible,” he said. “I get hit harder than that every night in the NBA.”

Allen had 13 points in 26 minutes, while Barea had four points, four rebounds, and four assists in 21 minutes before his ejection.

Given his history of being on the receiving end of cheap shots (as he referenced in the quote above), you would think Barea would be above such behavior. Apparently he’s not.

Video via @beyondthebuzzer

J.J. Barea rips Timberwolves teammates for not caring

In comparison with the past couple of seasons, the Timberwolves have actually taken a step forward this year. In 2010 and 2011 (both 82-game seasons), they won less than 20 games. This season with the shortened schedule, Minnesota has won 26 games with one left to play. However, they have been atrocious since March when Ricky Rubio was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The Wolves have lost 12 of their last 13 games and had lost 11 straight prior to last Thursday. Things have gotten ugly, and J.J. Barea is fed up with his teammates as a result.

“We’ve got problems here,” the point guard said after the Wolves loss to the Warriors on Sunday, according to the Pioneer Press. “We have a lot of guys that don’t care. On a basketball team, when you have a bunch of guys who don’t care, it’s tough to win games. We’re going to keep getting (losses) here until we get players that care about winning, about the team, about the fans.

“They just come in here after the game like nothing happened. That’s what happens to a losing team.”

Typically, calling out your teammates is a move that is reserved for superstars who feel they aren’t getting any help. If there are really guys who don’t care about winning in the Minnesota locker room, I have no problem with Barea making that known to the media. The only issue I have with it is that he waited so long. The Timberwolves are out of the playoffs and ready to start polishing their golf clubs. Next year’s team will be entirely different altogether, so if Barea felt like saying something he probably should have done so before they lost 12 of their last 13 games.

H/T Ball Don’t Lie
Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Clippers announcer stunned to hear J.J. Barea is dating Miss Universe (Video)

There’s a saying to describe guys who overachieved to land their girlfriends, and it’s called “outkicking your coverage.” It’s not too common in the regular world, but it’s a pretty normal thing in the athlete world where hot women are sometimes willing to sacrifice looks for guys who have money and status.

With that concept in mind, we’re not saying Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea is an unattractive man, but he certainly outkicked his coverage to land former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera. Barea confirmed last year the two are dating, and they even have a child together.

The entire scenario was all too shocking for Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler, who was nothing short of stunned to learn of the development, even letting out a classic line “I’ll bet he enjoyed the All-Star break.”

We completely understand where you’re coming from, Ralph. On the court, Barea looks like a little squirt coming off the bench. But the guy is a good basketball player, and he’s treated like a celebrity in Puerto Rico, where both he and Rivera are from.

On behalf of Ralph, we’ll say this: Well done, J.J., well done.

J.J. Barea and Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera Having a Baby

One of the greatest tricks the devil ever pulled was setting J.J. Barea up with Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera. Barea is one of the most famous athletes from Puerto Rico, and Rivera is their other top natural resource. For Puerto Rico natives the couple makes sense. For everyone else, it’s about as normal as Freakshow and his wife.

Anyway, reports were published Wednesday saying Rivera is pregnant and the couple is having a baby. Rivera confirmed the news and even stopped taping a show because of it. The two have not made plans to marry and Barea has requested privacy on the matter. We’ll certainly leave the issue alone after this post but there is one key nugget that must be pointed out.

As Hoops Hype wrote on twitter and as El Diario reports, Rivera is seven weeks pregnant. Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals were played seven weeks ago. If that information is factual, the honorable thing for Barea to do is follow in this woman’s footsteps and name his child Dirk.

Dirk Barea, kinda catchy, no?

J.J. Barea Gets Parade in Puerto Rico

Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea became the first Puerto Rican-born player to win an NBA Championship earlier this month. He did his territory proud by draping himself in the Puerto Rico flag during the Mavericks’ trophy ceremony. Now Puerto Rico is paying him back with a parade and day in his honor. Check out the pictures via Earl K. Sneed and Tas Melas:

It’s a little disappointing they didn’t pass by the billboard that takes a shot at Kobe Bryant on the parade route, but that gives us a flavor of how popular Barea is in his home area.

Photo Credits: Jose Ayala PH, thegeorge164, JJ Barea

Rick Carlisle’s Decision to Start J.J. Barea After Game 3 was Critical to Mavs

Until winning the NBA championship as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, Rick Carlisle never received the respect he deserved. Carlisle has a .600 career winning percentage as a coach, and he led the Pistons to back-to-back 50-32 season in Detroit before being replaced by Larry Brown who led them to a title. Carlisle coached the Pacers for four seasons and took them to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing his job three seasons later. Now, after his ninth season as a head coach, he’s earning the respect he deserves.

While most of the credit goes to guys like Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson for making their shots, and of course Dirk playing so well throughout the series, Carlisle did what coaches are supposed to do: put his players in the best position to succeed. Carlisle did this in two ways.

After Dallas went down 2-1 in the NBA Finals, Rick Carlisle decided to change things up. He added J.J. Barea and Brian Cardinal to the starting lineup. Cardinal, who had only played one minute in the first three games of the series, played 29 over the next three. He was nothing spectacular but he did play tough defense and commit hard fouls. Inserting Barea into the starting lineup was the real difference-maker for Dallas.

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J.J. Barea Wears the Puerto Rico Flag During NBA Finals Ceremony (Pictures)

There have been seven NBA players who were born in Puerto Rico, and none are more accomplished in the League than J.J. Barea. The diminutive Dallas point guard had 15 points in the team’s Game 6 close-out win, and the Mavs won all three games after he was inserted into the team’s starting lineup. During the championship trophy ceremony, he made his home country proud by adorning the Puerto Rico flag. Check out the pictures of J.J. Barea wearing the Puerto Rican flag:

Barea was a key factor in the Mavs winning the title and he did his country proud. As if his country didn’t already love him enough for this billboard, you know they’ll love him even more now that they’ve seen him represent the country’s flag on the biggest stage possible. He earned that title.