As the Houston Rockets prepare for what could potentially be their final game of the season, veteran Jason Terry is guaranteeing a victory.
Over the course of NBA history it’s not unusual for players to make bold guarantees. It’s why the guarantees are made in the first place I find interesting. Looking at the various reasons why the player guarantees happen offers some insight.
In some situations the guarantee is utilized to inspire teammates. When a team is the prohibitive underdog or is trailing badly in a series the guarantee can serve to provide motivation among the players. In a locker room full of players who are either deflated or don’t have the best chemistry this type of guarantee is used to pull the players together as a unit.
Could this be Terry’s reason? Let’s hope his claim turns out to mirror the guarantee Joakim Noah made in the 2012-13 playoffs. Following what is better known as the flu game Noah made his assertion. I remember watching the Bulls players in Game 6 going to the bench and throwing up in trash bins during the game! The Bulls played 9 players in the contest, however 3 of them played less than 5 minutes and Taj Gibson played just under 18 minutes.
This was also the year when the love affair between Luol Deng and the Bulls ended. Also suffering from the flu Deng may have been the hardest hit as he was eventually hospitalized and Bulls doctors had him undergo a spinal tap. Deng felt the doctors erred in their assessment and suffered major complications from the procedure.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 3, 2013
As the Bulls headed to Brooklyn for game 7 many players were still suffering from the flu, Deng was hospitalized and Rose was out due to injury. Noah made his guarantee to obviously inspire the team.
Of all the guarantees made over the course of the NBA playoffs this one remains my favorite given the Bulls won, but also because Noah went on to spearhead the victory showcasing he was more than willing to put his words into action. Noah posted 24 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 6 blocks in their winning effort.
For the Fans
When a fan base is suffering from years of missing the post season or winning series, sometimes a player will make a guarantee with the hopes it will appease their supporters.
A good example of this situation would be J.R. Smith who guaranteed the Knicks would win the 2013-14 NBA Championship. Obviously Mr. Smith was completely off base and in fact his bold proclamation wasn’t necessary given the Madison Square Garden loyal attendees are one of the most supportive teams in the NBA.
— ALL IN Sports Talk (@allinsportstalk) April 27, 2016
Again when a team is considered an underdog it’s not unusual for a player to made a guarantee to defect attention off that fact. Some might say making such a bold claims does the opposite as then the media focus shifts to the guarantee.
Brandon Jennings (when with Milwaukee) boldly claimed his Bucks would win the series versus the Heat in 6 games. The silly part of the guarantee was the Bucks barely made it into the playoffs in what was a particular bad year in the Eastern Conference. Of note the Bucks won just 38 games that season.
When the Heat went on to sweep the Bucks it made Jennings claim look all the more silly and prompted some ridicule from his opponent. Specifically Dwyane Wade:
I could list a number of guarantees here, but perhaps the most noted would be LeBron James claim the Heat would win: not one, not two and counted all the way up to seven championships. The fact the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs pointed to the fact that even the King should remember humble pie is better served cold.
However, he might have been outdone by his
current owner Dan Gilbert who declared Cleveland would win a championship before LeBron would win one. How that turn out for you Mr. Gilbert?
Watching Charlie Villanueva interrupt Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne’s pregame dance routine recently reminded me of when he guaranteed the Pistons would beat the Raptors in the final game of the 2009-10 season. Not only did the Pistons lose, but the reason behind the claim was odd given Detroit finished 13 games back of the ninth place Raptors.
So Why Jason?
More from Space City Scoop
- Rockets: Time to return the slander towards Rachel Nichols
- What the Rockets must do with the second overall pick
- Houston Rockets: The case for, and against, trading Christian Wood
- NBA Rumors: Why the Houston Rockets shouldn’t trade up to no. 1 in NBA Draft
- 3 players that would be a perfect fit for the Houston Rockets at 23 or 24
The fact is Jason Terry has made these claims before. Remember when the Jet landed in Boston and claimed the Celtics would win the title? Yeah, that didn’t go so well for the boys in green.
That said, I think Terry is trying to play his role of the leader to a Houston Rockets squad who’ve not gelled this season. Perhaps the vet, who knows Harden and Howard have done nothing to galvanize this team felt this could help pull them together.
Or maybe the Jet senses this could be a real opportunity for the Rockets given Curry is out for 2 weeks at a minimum with his knee injury. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin now officially gone due to injury as well, the second round for the winner of this series has an even better shot of moving to the Western Conference Finals. But, perhaps the Rockets should have thought of that in the third quarter of game 4.
Calvin Watkins ESPN article outlined Terry’s bold words:
"“ ” – Terry I’m guaranteeing it,” said the 38-year-old Terry. “If I don’t, then what? It’s a loss, right. I guarantee victory — that’s what it’s going to take. I believe in my group. I know we can get a win here and send this thing back to Houston."
When queried on how the Rockets would beat the Warriors on the Oracle court Terry simply replied “Break their spirit”. And while this type of bravado might seem foolish to some it’s not a bad idea by the Jet. The only problem is for the Rockets to win the series they would have to win in Oakland twice (and at home once). Stranger things have happened, yet this feels impossible since the Warriors have lost twice at Oracle, it’s just that it took 41 games for that to happen!
Make sure you check out Space City Scoops end of season Rockets Round Table:
Space City Scoop is always looking to add new talent to our writing team. Currently we’re looking for individuals with a specialized focus. The first area of focus is perfect for someone who is constantly surfing the web for breaking news on injuries, trades, insider info etc. This individual would select the top news items and provide timely quick hits to keep SCS readers in the loop.
The other area of focus is someone who possesses a strong social media background who likes to interact with Clutch City Fans. You’ll promote SCS team content on facebook and twitter while also making sure to promote the best content coming from H-Town fans. If you have this capability and are interested check out this link and fill out an application.