One of the sad realities of sports is the business side of it. While we as fans want our favorite teams and players to win a championship, the owners of these teams are trying to make money and play by the rules of a salary cap.
For Dallas Mavericks fans, this was realized in the summer of 2011. After winning a championship, much was made of the decision by management to dismantle the team. Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea were brought back the following season.
In 2012, Jason Terry left and signed with the Boston Celtics. The Mavericks were trying to sign Deron Williams and didn’t seem interested in bringing Terry back.
Terry was influential in the Mavericks championship run, and he was a fan favorite during his eight seasons in Dallas. After hitting a 3-pointer, Terry would often put his arms straight out and act as though we was flying – thus the reason for the nickname ‘Jet’.
On Friday night, Terry walked back into the American Airlines Center for the first time since leaving last summer. Much speculation was made before the game on how he would be treated. Would he be booed or cheered? After all, he gave everything he had in Dallas and played his heart out every night. Many nights, it was Terry that would provide the big shot or the spark off the bench that was needed to elevate the Mavericks.
With just under three minutes left in the first quarter, Doc Rivers called on Terry to enter the game. As he was announced in the building, the crowd stood to their feet and erupted in an ovation. Terry acknowledged the crowd by raising his hand and pointing as he walked onto the court.
Perhaps the best picture though, was a sideline-angled camera that caught him walking onto the court and Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle in the back ground joining in the standing ovation — another class act from a classy coach.
Although the Mavericks spoiled Terry’s return to Dallas by defeating Boston 104–94, none of that mattered for a brief moment in the first quarter. Terry got the respect and the recognition he deserved from 18,000 plus fans.