NBANCAA BasketballPodcast

Jason Terry on his Journey from NBA Champion to Coaching

On the latest episode of Listen In With KNN on Fox Sports 1340AM, host Kelsey Nicole Nelson welcomed former NBA Champion and the University of Arizona Wildcats assistant coach Jason “The Jet” Terry to the show. 

Speaking of his journey, the Seattle, Washington native attended the University of Arizona for four years. He played under the legendary head coach Lute Olson, who would be a father figure to Terry and brought the Wildcats a national championship in 1997.

“I’ll never forget my years at Arizona as I enjoyed my college experience. In the 1997 championship, we knocked off three no. 1 seeds and the guys on my team like Mike Bibby, Miles Simon, Michael Dickerson and A.J. Bramlett are a tight knit group. It’s something you will never forget about,” he said.

After his collegiate career ended in 1999, Terry was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 10th overall pick and played 19 years with the Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks. In 2011, he led the Mavs to their first championship in franchise history as they defeated the Miami Heat, four games to two. It was sweet vindication after losing to the Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals.

“I was blessed and fortunate to have teammates like Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler. We just knew in that moment that we could not let the opportunity pass and took full advantage of it. Fortunately, LeBron (James) didn’t know yet how great he was and we were able to get out of there with a victory,” Terry said. 

During his playing career, the coach that made a lasting impact on the former Sixth Man of the Year winner’s life was Avery Johnson.

“When he took over in Dallas, I was in my first year with the team after getting traded from Atlanta. He embraced and took me under his wing. We didn’t talk about basketball but we talked about life,” he said. “I was 25 years old at that time and needed someone that looked like me, spoke my language, understood what I was going through and where I was going in the future to give me that type of perspective. It was valuable and it made me the man I am today.”

Recently, Terry’s alma mater hired him to be an assistant coach under Sean Miller where he hopes to bring another title in Tucson. He was grateful to play at a high level in his long NBA career where he developed a passion for coaching. 

“It’s been about mentoring the next generation and teaching the game that I love and grown accustomed to. I’ve just been blessed to have an opportunity presented to me by Sean Miller and the coaching staff at the University of Arizona,” Terry said.

“The biggest accomplishment I’ve seen from him (Miller) is the amount of young men he’s put into the NBA and watching him teach on a day-to-day basis. I’m excited because learning from a guy that’s been there and done that is truly a blessing.”