BOSTON -- Jason Terry wasn't even through his first year with the Dallas Mavericks when then-coach Don Nelson apparently wasn't pleased with his point guard skills.
Nelson apparently was so disenchanted that he already had a deal done to ship Terry to the Utah Jazz. But owner Mark Cuban pulled the plug on the trade.
"I remember having to tell Nellie that, 'No, we’re not trading him to Utah for Raul Lopez,' '' Cuban said. "Because Nellie told me the deal was done.
"The point being that Jet went through some tough times when he first got here. And he got
better and he grew with the team.''
The Mavs got Terry from the Atlanta Hawks after Dallas failed to re-sign free agent point guard Steve Nash, who was a fan favorite. It didn't help matters when Nash and the Phoenix Suns eliminated the Mavs in six games in the Western Conference semifinals.
A lot of folks blamed the series loss on Terry.
"He got a lot of grief and he just kept on working harder and harder and harder,'' Cuban said. "People blamed him for when we didn’t win in the playoffs, but when it came time to shine, he shined.
"So you can’t say enough great things about Jet.''
Terry now plays for the Boston Celtics, who host the Mavs on Wednesday night at 7 at TD Garden.
-- Dwain Price
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