Jan 12, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry (31) celebrates after making a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at the Barclays Center. The Rockets defeated the Nets 113-99. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier this week veteran guard Jason Terry agreed to return to the Houston Rockets on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum.
After spending a fair amount of time considering a contract offer from the New Orleans Pelicans, Terry decided to return to the Rockets despite the Pelicans offering him more money. What convinced the veteran guard to stay?
Terry told Fox 26 Houston that Rockets superstar James Harden would not let Terry leave the team, saying, “[Harden] basically wasn’t letting me go anywhere. That was tough for me knowing how important I am to his growth and his development.”
Terry had the opportunity to make more money with the Pelicans, where he would have been a key veteran on a young roster that is on the rise. The Rockets, however, are able to offer him something that money can’t buy– a championship ring.
After the moves the Rockets’ front office made this summer following the team’s loss in the Western Conference Finals, Terry told Fox 26 “I feel confident that we are going to build on the success we had last season.”
Terry was a key part of that success, shooting 39 percent from the three-point line during the regular season, and stepping up big for an injured Rockets team during the playoffs, averaging 9.2 points and 2.8 assists.
Terry was most helpful to the Rockets off of the court, however, providing veteran leadership and experience that is essential to any championship caliber team. About a month outside of Dwight Howard‘s return from his injury last season, Terry set up a meeting between Howard, Harden, and himself to discuss how things would go once Howard returned.
After that meeting had taken place, Harden told USA TODAY Sports that “JET (Terry) is one of the leaders also. He has won championships. He has that experience. I always listen to him, and get feedback from him. That was probably one of the best meetings that I’ve had.”
It is obvious that Harden has a lot of respect for Terry, and looks up to him as a personal mentor as well as a team leader. Harden understands the importance of keeping a player like Terry on the roster. In order to win a championship a team must have a veteran leader that is willing to sit down the team’s two best players and have them discuss how they are going to work together.
“JET is one of the leaders also. He has won championships. He has that experience. I always listen to him, and get feedback from him”
Fortunately, Terry is wearing off on Harden. It is a sign of maturity that Harden sought out Terry and pushed him to return to Houston. Harden also recently reached out to newly acquired guard Ty Lawson to make sure his recovery was heading along the right path, and that his mind is prepared for the upcoming season. Both moves demonstrate how Terry’s leadership is not only helping to guide the Rockets to where they need to go, but that it is also molding younger Rockets into veteran leaders.
Terry wont see much action on the court if the Rockets manage to stay healthy during the upcoming season. He is however hoping he can trade in his veteran experience and leadership for something more important – another championship ring!
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