DALLAS - The last remaining player from the Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA championship season was released by the team on Thursday.
The Mavs will let fan favorite guard J.J. Barea go because he still wants to play, but there won’t be a roster spot for him when the season starts in a few weeks.
"It's a tough, happened pretty quick. It still hasn't hit me, but I woke up today super happy. It's been an amazing time here in Dallas. I wouldn't change anything,” Barea said Thursday.
Mavericks officials knew they were going to cut Barea when they signed him last month, but owner Mark Cuban wanted to reward the much-respected player with a one-year guaranteed deal, ESPN reported.
“A little bit of a sad day in Mavs-ville as we say goodbye to J.J. Barea,” Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson told reporters. “He, in a lot of respects, has been the heart and soul of us for many, many years.”
Barea spent 11 of his 15 NBA seasons with the Mavericks and the other four in Minnesota.
"Other than Dirk, I don't think anybody loved to play for the Mavericks more than me,” Barea said.
The 36-year-old player hopes to be signed by another team. The NBA season starts in less than two weeks.