The guys at The Two Man Game – ESPN’s Mavericks blog– have declared today, “Jason Terry Day.” They’re reminiscing about the Jet’s days in Dallas. If you’re curious about Terry’s skills and personality, read on:
The hardwood floor is a stage on which he must perform, but JET goes through more effort to enhance his act than any other player in the league. He’s a walking, talking — always, always talking — hype machine, equipped to rally fans, jeer opponents and whip an arena of both friends and enemies into a frenzy. Terry simply has no regard for the NBA’s fourth wall. He treats every game as a completely interactive experience, and in that approach, he’s carved out a special place for himself as player turned provocateur.
He creates effectively for himself off the dribble. He hits pull-up jumpers emblematic of transcendent guards past. He has a well-earned reputation for producing at the end of games. Terry’s efficiency and approach somehow embody both the push toward per-possession maximization and the fetishization of an old school mentality. He’s perfectly in line with the breed of isolation-empowered guards that ruled the previous era of basketball analysis (and still informs the perspective of the casual fan to this very day), but Terry also stands out as one of the most efficient mid-to-high-usage shooters of his era. JET certainly has his nights where he overshoots his welcome, but in total he’s been precisely the kind of shot creator and motivator the Mavericks have needed.
Terry may well be Dallas’ megaphone, but he also acts as the team’s emotional dynamo. The Mavericks’ leadership is operated by committee, and though Nowitzki may lead by example and Jason Kidd by experience, Terry’s brashness has its value within the franchise’s greater restraint.
We’ve already sampled some of Terry’s brash personality. Last week, he went on NBA TV and touted a 1-on-1 battle with Ray Allen in the season opener.
Buckle up. I think we’re in for a wild ride.