|Jason Terry doesn’t miss this Mavericks team||12.11.12 at 5:43 pm ET|
WALTHAM — As we learned earlier this season, on the eve of every Celtics game, Jason Terry sleeps in a pair of shorts worn by someone from the next night’s opponent. Thankfully, on Tuesday night, he won’t have to bribe a locker room attendant to get a pair of Mavericks shorts.
“I’m wearing my own,” said the former Dallas star. “The ones from the championship.”
After the NBA lockout, as Mavericks management allowed pieces of that 2010 title team to sign elsewhere, Terry voiced his displeasure about not getting the band back together, and he left for Boston as a result a year later. He wanted to compete for another championship, and Dallas got worse. In the infancy of this season, Terry said of last year’s Mavericks, “It never jelled. It never happened. That’s why we were out in the first round.”
“They’ve got the same team name, but it’s not the same team,” he added after Tuesday’s practice. “Obviously, that was last year. We didn’t have the same team, or we’d probably still be there. It’s a totally different ballclub.”
So, when Terry faces his former employer, he won’t see his old team on the other bench. Gone are key contributors Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd. Dirk Nowitzki (knee) hasn’t suited up yet this season, and Shawn Marion (groin) remains a game-time decision after missing the previous two games.
“Those are the guys I won a championship with,” said Terry, “and they’re not there. … Maybe if Tyson Chandler was over there or Jason Kidd was over there, then there would be something extra special, but honestly it’s not.”
Sure, he’ll give Mavs coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban pregame hugs, but no tears will be wept on the court for the Rodrigue Beabois reunion.
“Do we wish we would’ve kept that team together?” asked Terry, who played his previous eight seasons in Dallas. “You’re darn right. To have a chance to repeat, that’s a big factor. You look at Miami, they added pieces; they didn’t subtract. So, you wish you could go back and change it, but you can’t. And so now we’re going forward. I believe this team we have in Boston is just as talented, if not more than what we had in Dallas.”
Terry will save his emotions for his return to Dallas, where he scored 10,182 points and captured the league’s 2009 Sixth Man of the Year honor, and he’s already got that date (March 22) circled on his calendar.
“If we go back to Dallas, which we will do in March, then it’ll be different,” said Terry. “They’ve been watching all season. They’ve got League Pass. They’ve seen me, but I think it’ll be more special when I’m in their building, in their arena. Then, we’ll have something to talk about it. Honestly, right now, they’re in Boston, these are our fans and we’re ready to go. We need a victory.”
In the meantime, he’ll let everyone else decide whether his No. 31 belongs in the same conversation as Brad Davis or Rolando Blackmon, whose jerseys are the only retired numbers in the American Airline Center rafters.
“That’s important to me,” finished Terry, who has also advocated retiring Kidd’s number. “For me to sit here and self-proclaim that, it wouldn’t be fair. That’s for the fans to say and for Mark Cuban. What we accomplished in Dallas hopefully will never be duplicated, and that means we’ll go down as one of the best.”
For now, though, it’s not the jersey Terry’s concerned about. He’s more worried about those Mavericks shorts from two years ago that he’ll be wearing to bed on Tuesday night.