Jason Terry's never been one to shy away from publicly expressing confidence in the teams he's played for, and he didn't hesitate to peg the Celtics as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday.
AP Photo/Mike Fuentes
Jason Terry at work last season for Dallas.Speaking with Celtics.com's Molly McGrath, Terry -- drenched in sweat having just completed a workout -- explained why he expects to see Boston contend for a championship this coming season.
"Well, your strong core group of veterans -- Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rondo, obviously the best point guard in the league," Terry said. "One of the greatest coaches to ever coach the game in Doc Rivers. And then a young nucleus. I mean, the young nucleus we have with the guys we drafted are incredible, and a healthy Avery Bradley. I think we'll be right there at the end, competing against Miami to win it all."
Terry recently made headlines for an elaborate tattoo on the underside of his left forearm that depicts the Celtics' center court leprechaun balancing the Larry O'Brien trophy on his index finger, rather than his customary basketball. Those who are superstitious will appreciate that the last time Terry got the O'Brien trophy imprinted on his body was before the 2011 season -- the year his Dallas Mavericks defeated the Heat to win the NBA championship.
"Obviously I did it with the Mavericks before the season the year we won it," Terry said while showing off his new ink. "So hopefully this year, again, we'll have the luck of the leprechaun and we'll get it done again. I definitely believe last year [the Celtics] were right there. They're already a championship team. They just needed a little jet fuel," referencing his "Jet" nickname.
The Celtics could need more than jet fuel to win another title this season, with Miami still on top in the East and the Los Angeles Lakers having reloaded with the likes of All-Star center Dwight Howard and veteran forward Antawn Jamison. Terry shrugged off the Lakers' latest acquisition, reiterating Boston's common stance that it's focused on its own goals and won't worry about the moves opposing teams are making.
Terry, 34, averaged 15.1 points and 3.6 assists in 31.7 minutes per game for the Mavericks last season, playing in 63 of 66 regular-season contests. He shot just under 38 percent from 3-point range, and a very solid 88.3 percent from the free throw line.
Rivers called Terry in the opening minutes of the free agency period earlier this summer to recruit him to fill the sixth-man role in Boston this season. Between his expected on-court production, charismatic personality and team-oriented approach, Terry shouldn't have much trouble gaining the approval of Celtics fans, if he hasn't already.
"I'm just excited to be in Celtic green. Again, the mystique, the championship pedigree, the heritage, just being in Boston, it's going to be great for me," he said. "Coming from Dallas, that was a great franchise, but this organization here is first class and I just can't wait to put that uniform on."