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Throwback Thursday: Jason Terry Reminisces on 2011 NBA Finals

DALLAS — Jason Eugene Terry will go down in the history books as a legend in the eyes of many Dallas Mavericks fans.

The man who goes by his initials “JET” will be forever remembered for being the heart and soul of the Mavericks in the late 2000s and early ’10s while being one of the best sixth men in the NBA. Besides winning NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2009, Terry’s biggest accomplishment in Dallas was being the biggest clutch shot-taker and co-leader with Dirk Nowitzki.  The duo led the 2011 Mavericks to the franchise’s first and only NBA championship by beating the Miami Heat in six games.

“It was a special, special season for us, obviously one of the biggest moments in my career,” Terry, now of the Houston Rockets, said last Friday while reflecting on his title. “Always, when you come back in this building those memories are fresh in your mind, and it comes back to you.”

It’s been four years since “JET” and that Mavericks squad brought the city of Dallas its first NBA title, but people still talk about “JET” in legendary terms due to his play in those stretch of games. The guard from the University of Arizona is still a fan favorite because of the impact he made on the floor during his eight-year run as a Maverick, and a strong debate is had in and around the city about whether he should eventually have his jersey retired or not when he hangs up his shoes for good.

Terry enjoyed a magical playoff run in 2011 thanks to having his shot stuck on automatic. It helped him get back to the big stage, where he and the Mavericks came up short in 2006 when they lost to the Heat in six games.

After having an excellent series against the Portland Trail Blazers in the opening round, where he came off the bench to score 21 points per game, Terry took his game to even greater heights the next round by helping the Mavericks beat Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

During Game 4 of the Mavericks’ unexpected sweep of the Lakers, the sweet-shooting Terry tied an NBA playoff record with nine three-pointers while racking up 32 points to help Dallas advance to the Western Conference Finals. Terry and the Mavericks then beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to move on to the NBA Finals to take on Miami’s new “Big Three.”

Terry made the biggest shot of his career in a pivotal Game 5 after being a playmaker and ferocious trash-talker all series long.

“I went to my patented move, the hesitation pull-up from about 30 feet. I didn’t have any other choice but to shoot it so there was no pressure,” Terry said smiling while recanting the play. “It was a big moment, and it will be one of the shots of my career that I’ll always remember.”

The shot Terry was referring to was the 30-foot three-pointer he hit in LeBron James’s mug to give the Mavericks an insurmountable 108–101 lead that grasped firm control of the series:

Terry glided down the runway one more time in Game 6 by scoring a game-high 27 points in the clinching game of the series to secure his place in franchise lore as one of the most clutch players in Mavericks’ history.

These days, with the championship memories forever in his heart, the 38-year-old Terry is at the tail end of his career with the Rockets, acting as a mentor and preparing for his post-basketball future.

“After basketball, I’m preparing to be on someone’s coaching staff, or a head coach in Division I college basketball, or somewhere in the NBA,” Terry said. “I enjoy it, it’s fun and it allows me to still bring what I bring to the table when playing, but when I’m not, I’m here to help the young guys understand the game, learn situations and learn personnel.”

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