J.J. Barea joining Mavs to receive rings

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks will receive their NBA championship rings in a ceremony before their Jan. 25 home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It's not a coincidence that former Mavs fan favorite J.J. Barea will be in town.

Owner Mark Cuban wanted Barea to be able to take part in the ceremony. Barea, a key role player during the Mavs' title run, signed a four-year, $19 million contract with the Timberwolves after the Mavs only made him a one-year offer because they wanted to maintain financial flexibility next summer.

"It's good that J.J. will get to be here," Cuban said of the ring ceremony. "It'll be fun."

The Mavericks held a banner-raising ceremony before their Christmas Day season opening loss to the Miami Heat. The championship rings were not ready then because Cuban wanted veterans such as Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion to have input on the ring design, which could not happen until the lockout was lifted.

"I like separating the two (ceremonies) actually, because it gives us two chances to sell it," Cuban said. "It gives fans that couldn't make opening day a chance to be a part of it. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to separate it again."

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.