Mavericks Guard Jason Terry Wants to Play Until He's 40
First, Jason Kidd talked about how he wants to play until he's 40. Now, another Mavericks guard named Jason wants to get in on that action.
Kidd, 38 in March, is much closer to reaching that goal. But Jason Terry, who turned 33 in September, is still determined to be active in the NBA in 2017-18.
"Until I'm about 40 or 41,'' Terry said in an interview with FanHouse before Wednesday's night's 102-101 win at Denver about how long he wants to play. "Why not? As long as I stay healthy. God has blessed me without any serious injuries. I'm a guy who always trains, a gym rat.''
Terry draws inspiration from Kidd, an All-Star point guard last season just shy of his 37th birthday.
"J. Kidd is a prime example,'' Terry said. "The position that I play really is low maintenance, not a lot of wear and tear on my knees. So hopefully I can make it (to 40) ... I look at J. Kidd and the things that he did. I'm doing those things that he did later in his career earlier than he's done. (That includes) focusing in on your legs more in the offseason training program. That has helped me stretch out my longevity.''
No slippage has been evident from Terry in his 12th season. He scored 20 points Wednesday to raise his average to 17.5, 1.3 above his career mark.
"He's definitely not old at all,'' said Dallas star forward Dirk Nowitzki. "He's still moving the way he was (years ago).''
So how about Nowitzki, 32? Does he want to join the party and also play until he's 40?
"I don't know,'' he said. "I just signed for four more years (last summer). By that time, I'll be 36. We'll see how the body feels. I'll see if I recover the same way and I still love the game. I'm planning on a strong four years and hopefully bringing the championship to Dallas.''
Nowitzki and Terry are the only players remaining from the 2005-06 Mavericks, who lost 4-2 in the NBA Finals to Miami. Dallas observers don't see much difference in Terry from back then, and neither does he.
"I just see my body and how I feel year to year, and I feel like I'm getting stronger,'' said Terry, averaging 34.7 minutes. "I haven't seen (any loss in his quickness), and hopefully I won't for a while ... When I was 23, 24, I could probably play 40-to-45 minutes a game. I don't think that's realistic (now). That's probably the only thing thing different (with age).''
Terry is a combo guard. While shooting guards active at 40 are pretty much unheard of (even Michael Jordan moved to small forward when he was 40) in the NBA, Terry figures he'll play more at the point when he gets older.
"You'll probably see me transition more back to the one where I can kind of control the game in that aspect,'' said Terry, the 2008-09 NBA Sixth Man Award winner who now starts at shooting guard.
For now, Dallas' starting backcourt has an average age of more than 35. What's going to happen as the two guys who want to play until 40 continue to age?
"They'll call us the Old Schools,'' Terry said.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson