MINNEAPOLIS -- JJ Barea had a great relationship with coach Rick Carlisle during the past three years while he played for the Dallas Mavericks.
So much so that Carlisle said: “People will assume that he’s a small guy and you can take advantage of him. But he scrambles, he draws charges and he’s a pain in the (butt).’’
Barea now plays for Minnesota after signing a four-year, $19 million free agent contract with the Timbervolves during the offseason. But he misses playing basketball for Carlisle.
“Rick was great for me,’’ Barea said. “Those three years he worked with me was special.’’
Barea said his teammates have been treating him special ever since his arrival to the Twin Cities.
“If you win a championship you know the get the respect out of everybody in the NBA so that’s a good thing,’’ Barea said. “They know I came from a really good team with really good players, and a really good franchise.
“They know I’ve been through a lot in the way I got to the league and the way my first five years went. So they know all that, so that means something.’’
-- Dwain Price
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