East Rutherford, N.J.: It was a cold and snowy night outside of the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey due to a snowstorm that began to hit the North East earlier in the day, however, the warmth was abundant inside for numerous fans that came to enjoy the game and see a particular player.

It was obvious that many Nets fans are loyal to their team, but they still have lasting memories of Jason Kidd who is still regarded as one of the greatest players to ever wear a Nets uniform. Especially when Jason helped take the Nets to the post season in each of the six years that he played with the organization. As such, many fans braved the storm to get a glimpse of this future Hall of Fame player who today wears a Dallas Mavericks uniform. However, you could not tell that Jason was an opponent player by the long-standing ovation he received when he was introduced.

The other player that brought fans out on this stormy night was José Juan Barea, the Dallas Mavericks guard that has slowly and silently been moving himself into prime exposure with his steady game. Barea who has been averaging 7.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per game comes from the always sunny town of, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico making him at present the only Puerto Rican player in the NBA (Carlos Arroyo the only other known player in NBA left to play in Israel).

“I came here from Arecibo, Puerto Rico to watch José Juan Barea play,” stated Joaquín Rodríguez Fernández a health care administrator who loves basketball. He continued, “I have a good job and I’m fortunate to be able to do this, come to New Jersey to see Barea and Jason Kidd. Let’s face it, it is closer to come here to the North East than to go to Dallas, Texas.”

Hector Diaz, originally from Caguas Puerto Rico and now residing in Jersey City came to the game with his wife and young daughter to cheer his hometown team, the NJ Nets, however, he was also interested in seeing for the first time, José Juan Barea. “I have heard a little about him (Barea) and wanted to come and see him play,” he stated. He continued, “Right now he is the only Puerto Rican in the NBA so he makes us all proud and we need to come out and support him.”  His wife was less sympathetic and was yelling out, “Lets Go Nets!”

There might have been a lot of snow outside the Izod Center, but the fans enjoyed an exciting game with a local Nets hero who has moved on and a rising star that is a positive icon to millions of Puerto Ricans here in the USA and in his home, Puerto Rico.

The Nets did not disappoint their fans and cruised to a 121-97 victory. It was their second win in three games and fifth in 13 at home.

About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.

  • Richard2114

    Jose Juan Barea will be the next big thing in the NBA.