Harrison Barnes hasn’t had a second to slow down, and that’s maybe not such a bad thing. The newly-inked Dallas Mavericks forward bounced right from free agency into training for the Olympics, and he hasn’t had time to reflect on his departure from the Golden State Warriors, or the team’s collapse in the NBA Finals, or his struggles in Games 6 and 7.
Sometimes staying busy is its own form of healing, and if that’s the case, Barnes has to be healing at an astronomical rate.
While the Warriors were courting Kevin Durant, Barnes found a new home in Dallas. He signed a four-year, $95 million deal to play with Dirk Nowitzki and to prove he can provide a star scoring punch on his own, rather than just be a key component of a balanced team filled with talent.
Playing in the Olympics should help. Barnes is already comfortable sharing the basketball, and there are plenty of familiar faces on that team playing with him. Spending time with guys like Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and yes, even Durant will push Barnes and teach him some new tricks, and it’s hard not to be around Coach K for any stretch without picking something up.
Barnes took a break from training as part of his partnership with Fitbit Blaze before USA Basketball’s exhibition against Argentina on Friday to catch us up on his summer, what it’s like playing for Coach K, the move to the Mavs, just how hard it was to lose those Finals, and whether he’ll find time to relax anytime soon.