If you live outside of Dallas, you may not know who JJ Barea is. Well, you will now.
According to ESPNDallas.com, the backup point guard for the Dallas Mavericks recently attended teammate Jason Kidd's charity event with some surprising arm candy.
The lady by his side was Zuleyka Rivera, also known as Miss Universe 2006. It's not much of a surprise to see a model dating an athlete...happens all the time.
But, as you will see, this pair doesn't exactly make as much sense as some of the others.
When a girl imagines dating a basketball player, she probably thinks about looking up to kiss him and feeling tiny inside his arms.
Well, there's a slight problem there because Zuleyka Rivera and JJ Barea are pretty much the same height.
Barea is listed at 6'0", but he's closer to about 5'9", which is exactly how tall Rivera stands. Given that a pageant queen probably never leaves the house without heels, whenever they're out there's a good chance that Rivera is standing about two to three inches taller than her man.
Photo courtesy of selectedcelebs.blogspot.com
This girl could have any guy in the world. Why would she choose diminutive backup JJ Barea?
I don't know if we'll ever be able to fully answer that question, but it could have something to do with the fact that they're both native Puerto Ricans.
Barea and Rivera probably got talking about their homeland, and before they knew it, sparks were flying. Apparently the media blew up in Puerto Rico when the couple announced they were together via Twitter, so the relationship may not hurt Rivera's career, either.
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If you're asking yourself how these two even met, you're not the only one. Barea was asked how he contacted Miss Universe and here's what he said (from ESPNDallas.com):
"Text message. I sent her a message to say hi, something simple like 'hope you're doing good.'"
That's no surprise. Most young people today like to communicate with texts, but the creepy part was how Barea got her number in the first place.
According to ESPNDallas.com, Barea did his own "reconnaissance work" to get Rivera's phone number.
They don't provide details, but I'm sure a healthy amount of Facebook stalking was involved.
Another reason Barea won the heart of a girl so far out of his league may have to do with their first date.
Rivera lives in Miami, and she invited Barea to come sweep her off her feet. Apparently he did just that. Barea said (from ESPNDallas.com):
"It was an awesome first date. We took a private boat in Miami Beach and then went to a restaurant and hung out. Then I had to go to Dallas the next day."
A private boat! This guy's a smoothie. Barea certainly gets credit for knowing that he had to pull out the big guns to impress her, but what happens when the money runs out?
Not sure she'll be quite as impressed when they're taking a private bicycle to McDonald's.
Photo courtesy of askmen.com
For Barea, who started dating Rivera six months ago, the only thing that could make this season even better would be an NBA championship.
The Mavericks are currently in third place in the Western Conference, behind the Lakers and Spurs. If somehow the Mavs can pull off an upset and win the championship, this would no doubt go down as the greatest year in Barea's life.
Either way, Barea plans to take a vacation this summer with his woman, but he hopes it will be a honeymoon of sorts after winning the title (from ESPNDallas.com):
"Hopefully it will be in late June. I don't know where. Somewhere far away."
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