The influences who shaped Jason Terry's career


The influences who shaped Jason Terry's career

Jason Terry: The Creation of a Leader

Jason Terry wasted no time throwing himself into the Boston Celtics culture after signing with the team in July. He tattooed Lucky the Leprechaun with a championship trophy. He declared his mission to kill the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. When asked to compare his role to that of former Celtic-turned-foe Ray Allen, Terry simply replied, Who?

Terry is the new leader of the Celtics bench. In past years, the group had included reserves who wanted to be starters and rookies who didnt want to listen. Not under Terrys guard. The former Sixth Man of the Year and 2011 NBA Champion has the second and third units under close watch in his first season in green.

Push the starters, thats our job, Terry told Our job is to make them better and make it game-like every time we step on the floor. We want it to be even tougher than the game is.

He continued with a laugh, Theyre young, so theyre going to do whatever I say anyways. If I tell them jump on one leg, bark like a dog, theyre going to do it. But what I do is lead by example. I have to make sure Im right every day, make sure Im early, make sure Im in tune with whats going on, and then direct them with my voice.

Terry leads with the experiences and advice he has gathered over the past 35 years. From coaches to former players to, most importantly, his mother, each person who led him in the right direction has influenced the leader he will be on the Celtics this season.


Influence: Mother, Andrea Cheatham

The days and nights were long for Andrea Cheatham. A single mother of 10, she drove a city bus to support her family in Seattle. Back home, Terry, the second oldest, stepped into a leadership role to help raise his brothers and sisters. Feeding, dressing, and getting them off to school, he learned about accountability at a young age.

"Mom is the hugest influence on me growing up just because I saw what she had to endure," Terry said. "I had to have huge responsibilities. But what she was doing was preparing me for when I had my own family and being the head of my family."

Terry learned about unwavering perseverance from his mother. She lost her oldest child, Dele, when he was only two months old. Years later, a tragic accident stole her two-year-old son Caleb during a family picnic after he wandered down to the lake and drowned. Terry, then 12, found his brother.

I walked back by and I just saw his body floating, he recalled. I think about him every day, every day. Its just a situation where I knew that kid was going to be something. He was already a little athlete, running around. He would follow me, so it was tough."

Terry tattooed Caleb and Dele's names down his arms in remembrance. His mother's strength is also permanently imprinted on his mind.

Said Terry, "Watching her struggles and then watching her be strong and still being able to survive is whats given me inner strength to carry on."


Influence: High School Basketball Coach, Lou Hobson

There are talented teenagers who spurn the advice of their coaches. Then there are others who soak up words of wisdom from their elders. Terry was the latter.

As a student athlete at Franklin High School, he lingered over the advice of his coach Lou Hobson. Terry wasn't as highly recruited as other NBA players but he shared the same goal of making it in the pros. He plugged away, practice by practice, game by game, drawing interest from schools including the University of Washington and the University of Arizona, where he played college basketball.

"His motto was, The road to success is always under construction," Terry said of Hobson. "That just told me to keep working every day regardless of the outcome knowing that you can get better. Even when youve seemingly got to the top, theres still another step to go to."


Influence: Former NBA Player, Gary Payton

Terry grew up in Seattle mesmerized by the SuperSonics. Of all the players on the team, fellow guard Gary Payton captured his attention.

Terry looked up to the nine-time All-Star. After watching him as a spectator for years, he became Payton's counterpart when he entered the league in 1999 while Payton was still a member of his hometown team. The two developed a strong relationship as Terry made his way up in the NBA.

"Gary Payton was one of my first role models," Terry explained. "I used to watch him when I was a young kid in high school and we formed a bond and we would just talk throughout the season. He would watch me, I would be watching him, and we would call each other and reflect on what transpired out there in the game."

Payton retired in 2007. By that point Terry had finished his eighth NBA season and was well on his way to a career that would later include a Sixth Man of the Year Award and NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks. Payton's mentorship served as one of the foundations for Terry's success, a relationship he is paying forward to younger players on the Celtics.

"He was tremendous for me," said Terry.


Influence: NBA Coach, Avery Johnson

After competing as fellow players, Avery Johnson coached Terry for over three seasons on the Mavericks. He saw Terry's potential as a team leader and encouraged him to step further into the role in spite of its challenges.

"After (me) being in the league for five years, he took me aside and was like, Look, if youre going to play this position, you have to be more vocal and lead by example,'" Terry recounted.

Terry felt frustrated when he teammates didn't always listen, but he believed in Johnson's belief in him. Determined to make an impact, he stuck with his coach's advice.

"He (Johnson) knew I was a killer," said Terry. "He knew my competitive fire and my ability to learn. I was very coachable, receptive, and I watched a lot of film. I think he saw that in me and knew that I could take my game to another level."

The nights of frustration lessened over time and Terry emerged as a leader on the court and in the locker room, a role players around the league respect today.

"It was a process," said Terry, "But he got me there."


Now entering his 14th season in the NBA, Terry is taking everything he has learned from his role models and mentors over the years and sharing it as the leader of the Celtics bench. He views the team as a family, eager to form the types of bonds and relationships that have served as such strong influences in his career with veterans and rookies alike.

"Its about being together, especially when youre going after one common goal," he said. "And we know what that goal is."

Phil Jackson: Knicks' biggest mistake was not trading for Jae Crowder in 2014


Phil Jackson: Knicks' biggest mistake was not trading for Jae Crowder in 2014

Knicks president Phil Jackson’s biggest mistake? Taking the job in the first place?

Well, besides that. Jackson tells Today’s Fastbreak that it was not getting Jae Crowder when he had the chance.

Here’s Jackson quote, part of a long interview with Charley Rosen: 

"I think my biggest mistake was actually this…One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking Jae Crowder. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn't get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo, so I took the pick, which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder."

Jackson’s timeline is actually a little off. The Chandler and Felton to the Mavs deal was actually in June 2014. The Celtics, of course, acquired Crowder at the December 2014 trade deadline in the deal that sent Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks. Still, you get the point. Jackson covets Jae Crowder, who has proven to be a little more valuable than Cleanthony Early. And, in light of where NBA salaries have gone, the five-year, $35 million deal Crowder signed with the Celtics last offseason now seems like one of the biggest bargains in the NBA. 



Can Jerebko parlay playoff starts to a bigger role with Celtics?


Can Jerebko parlay playoff starts to a bigger role with Celtics?

Every weekday until Sept. 7, we'll take a look at each player at the Celtics roster: Their strengths and their weaknesses, their ceiling and their floor. We continue today with Tyler Zeller. For a look at the other profiles, click here.

BOSTON – Considering all the different storylines that developed among the Celtics at the end of last season and this summer, it’s easy to forget that Jonas Jerebko was in the starting lineup.

With sporadic minutes in the regular season, Boston found itself trailing the Atlanta Hawks 2-0 in their best-of-seven playoff series.

So what did coach Brad Stevens do?

He shook up the starting lineup by inserting Jerebko. who helped Boston even up the series at two games apiece before the Hawks bounced back and ended the Celtics season after six games.

Those last four games against the Hawks – the only games Jerebko started all season - served as a reminder to many that the 29-year-old could still be an impact performer.

It was the kind of run to close out the season that Jerebko will certainly be focused on trying to build upon this season.

The ceiling for Jerebko: Starter

While he will likely begin the season as a reserve, Jerebko will certainly come into camp with a little more bounce in his step courtesy of a strong showing in the playoffs.

After averaging just 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 15.1 minutes in the regular season a year ago, Jerebko became a major force in the playoffs for Boston.

In his first game as a starter, Jerebko had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds as Boston won Game 3, 111-103.

He was even more impactful 48 hours later with another a second straight double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) in yet another Celtics victory.

The Hawks made some adjustments in Games 5 and 6 to close out the series, but it wasn’t before Jerebko had put together the best postseason stretch of his career.

Compared to the regular season, Jerebko more than doubled his playing time in those final four games by averaging 31.3 minutes to go with 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Jerebko will be hard-pressed to return to that role at the start of this season.

Boston signed Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract, so you know he’s starting.

And Amir Johnson’s defense and ability to run the floor so effectively will likely result in him resuming a starting role, too.

That leaves Jerebko joining what looks to be a very talented and deep Celtics bench.

Even though he’s unlikely to start, Jerebko will get his share of opportunities to play.

At 6-foot-10, Jerebko has the size to play both power forward and center. And depending on the opposing team’s lineup, Jerebko has the potential play some small forward as well.

It was that versatility that made Stevens turn to Jerebko in the playoffs last season to replace Jared Sullinger, who signed with the Toronto Raptors in the offseason.

And while the idea of Jerebko as a starter seems a bit far-fetched at this point, he is yet another Celtics reserve who has proven himself to be ready to play and play well when given an opportunity to step on the floor regardless of what that role may be.

The floor for Jerebko: Seldom-used reserve

Despite a strong finish last season, Jerebko will once again have to fight and claw for any minutes on the floor. While the Celtics certainly were aided by his versatility, this season’s roster has a number of players who, like Jerebko, can play multiple positions at both ends of the floor.

NBA veteran Gerald Green is 6-8 and will play shooting guard and small forward. But depending on the lineup, it’s not a stretch to envision him playing some power forward. Ditto for rookie Jaylen Brown and starting small forward Jae Crowder sliding up one position.

Beginning the season on the rotation fringes is nothing new to Jerebko, whose role was very much up in the air when the Celtics traded Tayshaun Prince to Detroit prior to the 2015 trade deadline for Jerebko and Gigi Datome.

Gradually, Jerebko earned his minutes and proved he was indeed a valuable piece of what Stevens and the Celtics were trying to build here in Boston.

And now, with a season-plus of time with the Celtics under his belt, Jerebko finds himself once again being challenged to show that he’s more than just a body on the roster.


Report: Celtics renounce draft rights to 2013 pick Colton Iverson


Report: Celtics renounce draft rights to 2013 pick Colton Iverson

By Dan Feldman, Pro Basketball Talk

The Celtics bought the No. 53 pick in the 2013 NBA draft to get Colton Iverson out of Colorado State, and he thanked them by allowing them to keep his rights the last three years.

Iverson rejected the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum, teams must extend to retain exclusive negotiating rights to a second-round pick – year after year to sign overseas. Accepting the tender would’ve likely meant Iverson going to Boston’s training camp and getting waived. Perhaps, the timing of that would’ve limited his European options that year. But it would’ve made him an NBA free agent – or, best-case scenario, he could’ve made the Celtics and drawn an NBA paycheck.

As it was, Iverson limited himself to joining Boston and only Boston. If another NBA team wanted Iverson, it would have had to trade for him.

And what does Iverson get for that loyalty? A Celtics contract with at least a partial guarantee?


Just a head start on finding another team – which he could’ve gotten for himself three years ago.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

This is why second-round picks should be more aggressive about accepting the required tender. Even if you get waived, you open NBA options.

Iverson is a strong 7-foot center who plays with physicality. He can help in certain matchups, and he’d make sense as a third center on teams that have first- and second-stringers playing a different style.

But Iverson is 27, and his NBA window may be closing if it hasn’t already.

It’s a shame he spent so many years beholden to Boston, which didn’t want him.

It was probably just courtesy of the Celtics to renounce his rights now rather than have him sign the tender. They would have guaranteed him no money with the tender, and they could have gotten a few minor benefits with it – an extra body for training camp, the ability to assign his D-League rights to their affiliate after waiving him and the slightest chance he impresses enough in the preseason to hold trade value.

But them forgoing those potential advantages, even if out of courtesy, also sends a signal about how little they value him. Teams don’t do these types of favors for players they actually covet.