Thursday, 20 August 2009

"Devasted" Barea not allow to play for Puerto Rico

Not very noteworthy as it concerns CIS basketball however I thought this situation highlights how important it is for some players to play for their country... And JJ Barea is not a journeymen; he is a very good NBA player on a solid team - Cuban's position on this matter should highlight how important this player is to his team. Hopefully the highly-touted coming crop of young Canadian basketball talent will feel this strongly-linked to their country's program and want to play with this much passion.

JJ Barea held out of out Americas tourney by Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks invoked their right to prevent José Juan Barea from playing with Puerto Rico in the FIBA Americas tournament because the 5-10 guard has not fully recovered from his left shoulder injury.

“It’s the worst news I’ve been given.” said Barea, who had shoulder surgery on May 28. “I’m devastated. I wanted to play.”

The shoulder injury is the same one that kept Orlando guard Jameer Nelson off the court for four months.

The NBA’s agreement with FIBA says that NBA teams cannot prevent their players from playing in international competitions during the offseason as long as the players’ respective national federations can afford the required insurance.

The exception to that rule, which was used by the Mavs in the Barea situation, is when a player is injured or still recovering from an injury.

Barea averaged 7.8 points and 3.4 assists in 20.3 minutes per game for the Mavericks last season and was looking forward to playing in this year’s Tournament of Americas because it was being hosted in Puerto Rico.

Barea was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

“I have never failed to represent Puerto Rico since I was 16 years old.” Barea told El Nuevo Dia. “The news is so much more difficult because it wanted to play before my family, friends, and the fans of Puerto Rico.”

Last week, the Dallas franchise announced that Dirk Nowitzki would not participate in this year’s Eurobasket, on a strong recommendation of Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

“I’m not mad at (Cuban) at all,” Nowitzki told ESPN. “He’s been great to me these last 10, 11 years. He always let me chase my dream. And we always agreed that if I made the Olympics, it would be [time] to take a break.”

Dallas Mavericks ask Barea to sit out tournament

Dirk Nowitzki is not the only Mavericks player sitting out international competition this summer at the team's request. The team has asked guard J.J. Barea to not play for Puerto Rico when it hosts the FIBA America's tournament Aug. 26-Sept. 6.

Barea told El Nuevo Dia that he is "devastated" by the Mavericks' decision because he has never failed to represent his country in competition since he was 16.

Barea had left shoulder surgery May 28. FIBA rules give NBA teams the right to hold a player out if the player is injured or recovering from injury.

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