J.J. Barea played a massive role as a young point guard in bringing the Dallas Mavericks their first championship in 31 years. As one of the senior-most veterans on a spiraling Minnesota Timberwolves team, Barea on Sunday night had all he could handle of losing.
After a 93-88 home loss to the rookie-laden Golden State Warriors, the Wolves' 12th loss in 13 games in this once promising season, the 5-foot-10 Barea, who played his tail off for the full 48 minutes, went off.
"We've got problems here," Barea told reporters. "We just got a lot of guys that don't care. When a basketball team got a bunch of players that don't care, it's tough to win games. It's going to happen until we get players in that care: care about winning, care about the team, care about the fans."
Barea, the only healthy point guard left on the team that was also without Kevin Love (concussion), had 14 points and 12 assists. He didn't shoot great, just 5-of-18 from the floor and 2-of-9 from 3-point range, but effort is never an issue with the hard-driving Barea, now in his sixth NBA season. According to reports, Barea's tongue-lashing went down in front of his locker and within earshot of teammates.
"They just come in here after the game like nothing happened," Barea said. "That's what happens to a losing team. ... There's a bunch of us, too, that care and play hard. "But there's a bunch that don't care, and we just got to change that. I've been noticing it. But today you can really notice it. It was a brutal second half. Nobody fighting, nobody getting mad at nobody. After a game like that you got to have problems. You got to argue with your teammates. But nobody cares so we've got to change that."
The Wolves have one game left and it will help decide Barea's former team's first-round playoff opponent. Minnesota plays host to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night as the Mavs will be wrapping up their season at the Atlanta Hawks. The Mavs and Nuggets are battling for the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds.
The results of those two games will decide the playoff pairings.