Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Great Day In New York For Jose Juan Barea Of The Dallas Mavericks

Jose` Juan Barea of the Dallas Mavericks was honored by the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association (LSWBA) on Sunday afternoon, several hours prior to his team's contest against the Knicks, at Sofritos Restaurant on East 57th Street in Manhattan. The Puerto Rican native was made to feel at feel at home with the cuisine of his homeland. Julio Pabon, president of the LSWBA, said of the honored guest, "Playing in the NBA is like winning the lottery. You've probably won trophies since you first held a basketball in your hand." Rather than giving Barea another trophy, Pabon presented a beautiful drawing made by artist John Pinisi. Barea graciously thanked those present for the award and for their presence at the luncheon. He was also presented with the Estrella de Deportes award in recognition of Pureto Rican Heritage Month.

The Dallas point guard is the seventh Puerto Rican to play in the NBA. He said he was the only Puerto Rican currently active in the league. He does not consider his status to be stressful but does consider it to be a responsibility. He stated, "I feel no pressure because I know the fans in Puerto Rico always back me up. It is a responsibility because I want to open the doors for the next Puerto Rican players, especially guards." Being the only Hispanic player on the Mavericks in no way interferes with his relationship with his teammates. He explained, "I'm really comfortable with my teammates. We have a new coach, Rick Carlisle, who is completely different than our former coach, Avery Johnson." When asked his assessment of the new coach, he replied, "It's too early to tell."

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