One of the Dallas Mavericks most beloved players, Jason “The JET” Terry is returning to American Airlines Center tonight. The place where he had some of his best NBA years, won two Western Conference titles and one memorable NBA Championship in 2011.
So when players who’ve left and come back some times get a warm welcome and sometimes get a cold shoulder or chorus of boos when they return.
“I hope they give him a standing ovation,” said owner Mark Cuban, via ESPN Dallas. “He deserves it. He’ll be a Maverick for life. He’s part of the family.”
Most Mavs fans blame Mark Cuban for the dismantling of the Championship roster, not Terry for leaving and spurning the Mavs like fellow guard Jason Kidd.
The Maverick for life comment can be interpreted a lot of ways. Clearly he’ll be a player that will sign a one day deal with a team to retire with an organization. But what does the “for life” mean. It could mean that it is already known that they’ll hang his “31” in the rafters. It could mean as a coach.
“Basketball is a short part of your life, and then there’s the rest of your life,’’ Cuban said. “Hopefully, we’ll be part of Jet’s after he retires.’’
Other Mavs weighed in on JET’s return.
“He’s one of the most beloved players I think in the history of this franchise because of his personality, his relationship with the fans and the community and he was a great player,” Carlisle said. “He was a prime-time great player in the clutch. Guys like that always distinguish themselves. It’ll be emotional, I’m sure, for him and the fans and some of us that got to know him well. But we know how good he is and we’re game planning for him, too.”
“He meant so much to our franchise. Not only on the court, where, to me, he’s one of the best clutch shooters I ever played with, but also off the court. He was a great community man. Every other day, he was doing something, appearances left and right. He’s just a guy with a huge heart. I wish him all the best this season and hopefully he gets the ovation that he deserves.”