Former Maverick Terry adapting well to new home

Posted Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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Mavericks at Celtics

7 tonight, TD Garden, Boston

TV: FSSW, ESPN

Radio: ESPN/103.3 FM, KFLC/1270 AM (Sp.)

About the Mavericks (11-10): Searching for its first four-game winning streak of the season, Dallas comes off Monday's 119-96 win over the Sacramento Kings, a game that saw six Mavericks score in double figures. ... Chris Kaman has tallied 38 points the past two games despite a sprained left ankle.

About the Celtics (11-9): This is a reunion with former Maverick Jason Terry, who signed with Boston in the summer. ... Boston is led by point guard Rajon Rondo, who averages 13 points and leads the NBA with 12.8 assists per game. ... Paul Pierce leads Boston in scoring (19.2 ppg) while center Kevin Garnett averages 16 points and 7.3 rebounds.

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BOSTON -- He was kicking his legs and screaming at the top of his lungs. That's how much Jason Terry wanted to remain in Dallas and finish his career with the Mavericks.

But the Mavs didn't offer Terry a high-priced contract when the became a free agent last summer, ending Terry's eight-year tenure with the Mavs.

It also started a new journey with the Boston Celtics, who gave Terry a three-year, $15.6 million contract even before the Mavs snubbed him. Terry, though, claims he hasn't even thought about how his departure from the Mavs went down.

"At this point in my career, I had to go with the best offer, and the best offer was here in Boston," Terry said. "It offered me another opportunity to win a championship and they gave me the most money.

"I love Dallas. Hopefully one day my jersey will hang in the rafters there."

That's something to think about, Mark Cuban said.

"I'm not opposed to it, let's put it that way," The Mavs' owner said. "He's special, obviously. He got off to a rough start, but he just worked all the time. We wouldn't have had our [championship] ring without him."

Terry was a key part of the Mavs winning the 2011 NBA title. Now he's with the Celtics, who will host the Mavs tonight.

Coach Rick Carlisle was appreciative of Terry's contributions, especially coming off the bench.

"Being willing to be a sixth man -- basically a starter coming off the bench and giving the team that unique kind of punch -- that makes him a very special person and a very special player," Carlisle said. "Jet was an all-time great Mav.

"I have no doubt his number will be in the [American Airlines Center] rafters at some point."

Terry said he plans to chat with Carlisle and the other familiar faces on the Mavs' squad, though only Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones remain from the championship team.

"He'll be on the sideline, so that'll be emotional for me," Terry said of Carlisle. "I'll go up, give him a good hug. I miss him.

"He's definitely a good friend and one of the greatest coaches I've ever played for. But anything other than that, maybe if Tyson Chandler was over there or Jason Kidd was over there, it would be something extra special, but honestly it's really not."

Terry, 35, said he'll probably be more emotionally charged when he plays his first game back in Dallas on March 22.

"I think it will be more special when I am in their building," Terry said. "Then we'll have something to talk about."

Whenever Terry decides to hang up his sneakers, Cuban said he plans to have a job waiting for him.

Cuban offered Terry a multi-year deal last summer, but the money wasn't close to where Terry wanted it to be.

"He knew what our plans were, and we talked a lot," Cuban said. "He wanted to stay, but he understood what we were doing and where we were going. I would have liked for him to stay, but I understood what his goals were, and so it just didn't work out. But he's always going to be special and hopefully when his career is over he'll come back and work for us."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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