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HOW I SPENT MY LOCKOUT
ALEXANDER WOLFF
November 21, 2011
J.J. Barea, the breakout star of the NBA Finals, wants to get back to work. Until he does, he'll be hanging out with his girlfriend— a former Miss Universe—on the tropical island where he's a hero
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November 21, 2011

How I Spent My Lockout

J.J. Barea, the breakout star of the NBA Finals, wants to get back to work. Until he does, he'll be hanging out with his girlfriend— a former Miss Universe—on the tropical island where he's a hero

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After the Mavericks' title, everyone had something to say. In the locker room celebration Terry bellowed, "J.J.! Tell me how much money you want!" A week later President Obama, making the first presidential visit to Puerto Rico in 50 years, included a shout-out to Barea—"That guy can play!"—in his official remarks. And when that obstetrician from 27 years ago ran into Jaime and Marta Barea around town, he couldn't help himself: "I told you he was a fighter!"

At Miami Christian and Northeastern and Portsmouth, in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City and Fort Worth—whenever Barea had to take a detour, he remained committed to his goal. "This was to be his year," says Alvarez. "We're all concerned for him that he's not playing." But the family long ago adopted a formulation of José's brother Jaime Javier: "José has a simple mind and just won't put concerns into it."

As soon as the lockout ends, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is expected to open his checkbook to keep Barea. Or to do so to the extent that a new CBA allows.

For now Barea is being conditioned by San Juan's traffic. For now he'll simply wait.

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