DALLAS – If anyone knows how to successfully overcome a torn Achilles tendon, it’s Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews.

When he played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Matthews tore his left Achilles tendon during a Mar. 5, 2015 game against the Mavs. Matthews underwent successful surgery, signed a four-year free agent contract with the Mavs in the summer of 2015, and – against all odds — was in the starting lineup on Oct. 28, 2015.

So, when J. J. Barea tore his right Achilles tendon on Friday against Minnesota – he’ll undergo season-ending surgery on Monday — one of the first people he confided in was Matthews.

“I was just telling him to go through every emotion that went through his head,” Matthews said following Sunday’s 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors. “You just have to throw that out.

“I told him you cannot be too prideful, you cannot be too brave or too masculine. There are going to be high days and there are going to be low days. There are going to be great days, but it’s going to get better.”

Matthews recalls the grit and the grind and the hard work he had to endure after his surgery before he was able to play basketball again. That’s the message he gave Barea.

“There isn’t going to be a catch phrase or a slogan that’s going to make it go away,” Matthews said. “You’re just going to have to do your diligence and attack every single day.

“Whatever emotion pops in his head, whatever he’s feeling, that’s what he’s got to let out.”

Ironically, when Matthews first joined the Mavs, he said he didn’t care too much for Barea. But that has since changed.

“He’s just a great guy,” Matthews said. “Oddly enough, when we both signed – he re-signed and I signed here – I didn’t like him being an opponent of his, and he grew to be one of my best friends.

“It’s tough to see him in this situation knowing what he’s getting ready to go through, but he’ll be good.”

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