Jason Terry, whom Dallas Maverick fans remember as the No. 2 piece during the team’s run to the 2011 NBA title, extending his arms and jet-setting back on defense after making big shots down the stretch, is 38 years old.
Much like Mavericks’ All-Everything man Dirk Nowitzki, Father Time is catching up with all the pieces from that 2011 championship run.
Terry has spent the past two seasons coming off the bench and mentoring younger players for the Houston Rockets, a role that plays directly into what he hopes is the next phase in his basketball career.
“I want to play two more years and then jump immediately into coaching or management,” said Terry, who recently participated in Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. “I’ve had some unique opportunities like this past year at the [NCAA] Division I level, interviewing for the Alabama-Birmingham job, which was a great experience and something I look forward to in the future.”
He interviewed for that position on the day of a game he was scheduled to play in for the Rockets in late March, but there are several other components to that quote that deserve to be broken down.
First, Terry will be an unrestricted free agent when free agency starts this week after playing through the second of two one-year deals with the Houston Rockets and logging 17.5 minutes and 5.9 points per game in 2015-16. He is not considered one of the top free agents on the market, but the Rockets did have to fend off the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz in courting Terry in the run-up to last season.
All that is to say that it remains to be seen whether or not the free agent marketplace will land Terry a spot on a suitable team for those final two seasons he wants to play.
Second, Terry seems to have authoritatively selected coaching and front-office work over broadcasting, where he has recently begun to dabble in a weekly NBA-themed show on Sirius Satellite Radio that began airing earlier this month.
He left open the possibility of a Dallas Mavericks homecoming, but concluded on the radio airwaves a week earlier that getting a free-agent deal with Dallas might be a stretch, despite the feel-good reunion angle.
“If the opportunity presents itself, then yes,” said Terry, on making a final run with the Mavericks. “But if it doesn’t, then obviously I have to explore my options. My home base is here in Dallas, and that would be a dream come true.”
But a week earlier on the Sirius airwaves, Terry said: “I understand for all the things I’ve heard that the Mavericks are going young, and so I’m 38, and I don’t fit that bill.”
On both occasions, Terry praised the Rockets’ hiring of coach Mike D’Antoni and indicated he would love to play in D’Antoni’s ultra fast-paced system.
“It’s a great opportunity for [the Rockets],” Terry said. “Because if you look at that organization as a whole, their plan is to play fast. Three is better than two, and his system is perfect for that style of play. It’s a great system, and [D’Antoni will] have some success there, for sure.”
On his radio show, he added that “I’d love to be a part of that process going forward, especially with a new coach like D’Antoni.”
Wherever he goes and whatever he does, The Jet will likely find a runway somewhere in the NBA.