Jason Terry should shut up about free agency

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
12:35
PM CT
If you’re part of the media horde that steps foot in the Mavs’ locker room on a regular basis, you have great appreciation for Jason Terry.

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As good as Jet has been for the Mavs the last eight seasons, he’s been better for us. Countless stories and radio segments have been built around Terry talking and talking and talking.

So, believe me, this is friendly advice: Jet, just shut up about your contract status for the rest of the season.

It’s certainly understandable that Terry isn’t thrilled about the strong likelihood that he’s nearing the end of his tenure with the Mavericks. He’s made it clear that he wants to retire in Dallas, even pointing to the spot in the AAC rafters where he thinks his number should hang.

It’s also clear, however, that Mark Cuban’s business plan isn’t going to include re-signing Terry to the kind of contract that the sweet-shooting sixth man wants.

If you aren’t sure about it, just ask Jet.

Hate to say it, but it’s time for Terry to stop being so brutally honest with his answers. It’s time for him to stop jabbing the Mavs’ management, and he should make his open flirtation with the Miami Heat a one-time, one-team thing as long as he’s cashing Cuban’s checks.

It’s not that Jet’s mouth is any great threat to chemistry in the Mavs’ locker room. His coaches and teammates are used to his “nonsense,” as Dirk Nowitzki recently called Terry’s tendency to utter inflammatory quotes, and have built up a strong immunity to it.

The Mavs can deal with Jet being Jet for the rest of the season, especially if his fantastic fourth quarter in Friday’s comeback win over the Magic starts a trend. And a handful of controversial comments shouldn’t tarnish his legacy in this town, considering his role in bringing Dallas its first NBA title. Terry should shut up about his future to protect himself.

The Mavs can shrug off his me-me-me act without much problem, but how do you think that would go over with a new team? Terry constantly talking about his contract status – while the Mavs fight for playoff positioning – can’t impress owners, general managers and coaches in other NBA cities.

The job interview isn't just about Terry's performance on the floor.

Terry needs to be realistic about the situation. He’s an undersized shooting guard who turns 35 in September. Teams aren’t going to be lining up to offer him lucrative, long-term deals, even if he has another terrific playoff run.

If a team is going to sign a mid-thirties role player, they’d like to get a role model for the youngsters on the roster, too. They definitely don’t want a potential malcontent.

The questions are going to keep coming for Terry. It’s an easy story for a reporter in places like Memphis, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago and Atlanta – all stops on the Mavs’ remaining schedule – if Terry keeps speculating about what will happen when he hits free agency this summer.

Or Terry can put a stop to it and place all the focus on trying to make another playoff run. He can even do it in typical Jet style with a quote like this:

“The [fill in the blank] are a great organization, but all I’m focusing on is finishing this season as strong as we finished the last one. We’ll worry about what comes next after we have another parade in downtown Dallas.”

That’s a quote the media can work with that won’t work against Jet this summer.

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Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
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OTHER LEADERS
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