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Blatant Homerism

Mavs Welcome Back J.J. Barea To Dallas By Putting A High Chair Near His Locker (Pic)

Diminutive point guard J.J. Barea made his return to Dallas on Wednesday night with his new team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the timing of his visit couldn’t have been much better. Coincidence or not, the night Mavericks owner Mark Cuban scheduled the night that the team would receive their championship rings just happened to coincide with Barea being in town, so the player who signed with the Timberwolves in December had the opportunity to receive his ring in front of an adoring crowd, as his contributions to the Mavs’ run through the playoffs last season were instrumental to them ultimately hoisting the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.

Referring to the return to his old stomping grounds as “weird” and “exciting,” Barea, who is currently nursing a nagging hamstring injury and did not play on Wednesday night, spoke about how nice it was to be back in Dallas (via the Star Tribune):

“It’s a special night: Get our rings, see my old teammates again, see all the fans. It’s a symbol of everything we did last year. That’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life. It’s hard to get, so I’m happy to have one.”

But if Barea thought some tomfoolery wouldn’t be in play courtesy of his former teammates, he was sadly mistaken. A photo shared by Wolves teammate Anthony Tolliver revealed an extra special present from his Mavericks pals: a high chair and two baby rattles were placed in front of his locker.

It should be pointed out that Barea and his girlfriend, former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, are expecting a baby, but allow me to entertain a more sinister possibility — one which appears to be shared by Anthony Tolliver, who seemed to take glee in the Mavs’ gesture, adding a “Hahahahaha” to the end of his tweet — that this was not a gift to Barea and his girlfriend for their baby, but more a joke about the height of their former teammate, who is generously listed at 6’0″.

Could I be wrong? Sure. But I like to think that the Mavericks players were playing the role of merry pranksters and taking a shot at his short stature as opposed to the high chair being a heartfelt gesture from caring and supporting friends. But that’s just me, maybe.