We had been down this road before. In the 2015-16 season, the Bucks brought in former Marquette player Steve Novak. This seemed to be more of a homecoming signing, since anyone with eyes could tell Novak would do absolutely nothing for the Bucks. He played in just 11 games with the Bucks, and was primarily used by Jason Kidd as a victory cigar, rather than an actual player. Terry was brought in primarily for his experience. With 17 years in the NBA, including a championship with the Dallas Mavericks, the Jet’s job was to teach the young team everything he knew so that the young players could have careers as long as his own.
Terry did his job well. We saw players step up and make big time plays in big time moments. Giannis hitting the buzzer beater in the Garden and Brogdon nailing the dagger in Boston are just a couple of examples of Terry’s lessons paying off. It takes confidence and a sense of leadership for Antetokounmpo and Malcolm to hit those shots, and those qualities have to be taught to players as young as them.
Terry also decided that the Bucks needed some “different” tactics. In a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jason Terry pulled JR Smith aside to shake his hand. He did this long enough for Tony Snell to get open for an uncontested slam. Intentional or not, it would be hilarious if a new strategy came from this.
Jokes aside, Jason did something else apart from being a teacher to a young squad. He wasn’t brought in for this reason, but it was just as important as his expected role of teacher. Jason Terry became a hype man. In music, a hype man supports the main artist and increases the excitement of the audience. In basketball, a hype man supports his team and gets the fans in attendance more involved. Terry was the textbook definition of a hype man, and it was great to see. On the sideline, it seemed like the man refused to sit down. Whenever a big three pointer was made, or a ferocious Giannis slam was thrown down, Terry was the first one celebrating, and the last one sitting. This didn’t change a bit when he was on the court. He would pass up easy points in order to get a more exciting play going.
The best example of this was the alley-oop against the Knicks on January 6th. JT had an easy layup but decided to throw up a lob to an incoming Jabari Parker. Parker threw it down and the Bradley Center erupted. Plays like this not only get the fans pumped up, it gives the team excitement and the confidence needed to repeat plays like it.
Even though he was only in the Cream City for 1 year, Jason Terry has certainly left an impact. What once looked like a wasted roster spot turned into someone that gave Bucks fans new ways to enjoy watching our favorite team. So thank you JT. Not only did you teach our guys how to be leaders, how to pace themselves, and more, but you also made watching that team very enjoyable.