One of the most beloved players in the history of the Dallas Mavericks announced his retirement on Wednesday.Barea

J.J. Barea, who helped fuel the Mavs’ 2011 championship team, said in a Spanish-language interview that he plans to retire from playing basketball.

According to a translation given to Hoops Rumors, Barea said: “I’m ready. Last year was tough mentality, and I wasn’t ready. This year I am, and I’m at peace with retiring.”

Barea, 38, played 11 of his 14 NBA seasons with the Mavs, and was always a fan favorite, partly because of his hard-working style along with his all-out hustle. The 5-10, 180-pound point guard played his final NBA season – with the Mavs – during the 2019-20 campaign when he averaged 7.7 points, 3.9 assists and 15.5 minutes while playing just 29 games.

But while no NBA team would sign Barea after that season, he became a player development coach for the Mavs in August of 2021. However, he quickly decided to leave that job and continue playing basketball for Spain’s Movistar Estudiantes in 2021, and later for Cangrejeros de Santurce in his native Puerto Rico during the 2021-’22 season.

BareaIn 831 career NBA games – including 107 starts — Barea averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 assists and shot 42.4 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three-point range.

Barea’s greatest moment came during the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. The Mavs trailed that best-of-seven series, 2-1, before Barea was inserted into the starting lineup.

That lineup change by coach Rick Carlisle proved to be very fruitful, as the Mavs captured the ensuing three games and the series, 4-2.

Barea has talked in the past about working with the Mavs in some capacity once his playing career was over and owner Mark Cuban has said that Barea always will be welcomed with open arms.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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