NBA players can be a tad selfish in the summertime, and with good reason.
They spend seven, eight or nine months, depending on how good their team is, dealing with the pressure of games, demands of the media, public appearances and try to keep some semblance of a personal life during the season.
Then comes the off-season. It's their time. And they often treat it as gold. A couple of vacations to exotic, remote locales or serious decompressing in Las Vegas. Those mental breaks are every bit as much of the recovery process from a long season as resting overused joints.
That's what makes J.J. Barea and Josh Howard top-shelf employees.
Many athletes that need off-season work done on their bodies put it off until August or September, figuring that they've earned June and July to use to their own delight.
Often, when athletes wait until later in the summer for work, they end up not being ready for the season to begin.
That won't be the case with Howard and Barea. Howard (left ankle and left wrist) and Barea (left shoulder) had their surgical procedures done within two weeks of the end of the Mavericks' season.
They'll be full strength in training camp, even if it means they have to spend more time rehabilitating in June than going on vacation.
That's the kind of commitment to the team that sends a good message throughout the organization. And throughout the league, really.
Just remember when you hear about players having surgery in late August that they could have done that a month or two earlier in most cases, but thought rest would be enough to make a difference. Most times, it's not.