Fans embrace Terry's return

Fans embrace Terry's return
March 23, 2013, 1:15 am
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DALLAS — As the latest team of multi-millionaires made their way into America Airlines Center Friday morning, a mob of media members rushed to get a few words from J.T. - and no, not Justin Timberlake.

It was Boston guard and former Dallas Mavericks player Jason Terry who got the Rock Star-like treatment in Friday morning, and was given similar love from the Mavericks fans when he stepped on the floor Friday night.

Having spent eight seasons with the franchise, helping them bring home their first and only NBA title in 2011, Terry has a special place in the hearts of Dallas Mavericks fans.

Fans showed him how they felt with a standing ovation after he entered the game with 3:57 to play in the first quarter.

The ovation was loud enough to throw off Vince Carter, who was at the free throw line and missed his shot.

Terry has many memories of his time in Dallas, but the 2011 title run serves as the one that's most near and dear to his heart.

"Hoisting up the trophy, the parade; just being on the stage in front of all our fans. It's a memory I'll never forget," Terry said.

But like many first time returns, Terry wasn't able to elevate his new team to victory as the Mavericks defeated the Celtics, 104-94.

Terry came off the bench to score eight points on 3-for-9 shooting.

And while he appreciated all the positive wishes he received from family and friends, leaving the AAC with a loss - the C's third straight - made for a bittersweet night.

"All I was worried about was getting the win," Terry said after the game. "Nothing else mattered; we didn't do it. We have to end off the trip on a good night."

The Celtics (36-32) close out their three-game road trip at Memphis on Saturday night.

Memphis comes in after having lost at New Orleans on Friday - the same Hornets team that knocked off the Celtics on Wednesday.

Still, most of the talk before and after the Mavericks game was about Terry who was back in Dallas for the first time since he signed with the Celtics during the offseason.

And although Terry is no longer a Maverick, he still has a strong, close-knit relationship with Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle and Mavs owner Mark Cuban who has said in the past that there's a job waiting for Terry with the organization after he's done playing.

For Terry to have that stature with the franchise does not come as a surprise to Doc Rivers.

"We've had him for a year, and his spirit is phenomenal," Rivers said. "I don't know how you do without him, really. He has an infectious personality. You want him on your team; you want him in your locker room. He's a guy you want around for a long, long time."