Should Jason Terry Have His Jersey Retired by the Mavericks?

Haddon AndersonAnalyst IAugust 28, 2012

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 16: Guard Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks during the Dallas Mavericks Victory celebration on June 16, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
Brandon Wade/Getty Images

Jason Terry was already a fan favorite before the Mavericks won the 2011 NBA title, but their epic journey to the NBA mountaintop situated him amongst the city's chief beloved.

"The Jet" dazzled throughout the 2011 playoffs, particularly in the Finals against the Miami Heat, and was an overall vital member of the Mavs first championship in history.

While Terry is now a member of the Boston Celtics, NBA fans must reflect on Terry's eight years in Big D and consider if his jersey being retired is appropriate.

Some may argue that a jersey hanging from the rafters should only be for those who are "Hall of Fame" caliber players. Terry has never been this type of player.

But different organizations beg for different standards when it comes to jerseys being retired.

Let's say Terry was with the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics the past eight seasons and accomplished the same feats. Amid these organizations, his jersey hanging from the rafters would be inappropriate. There's too much history and the standard for success is alarmingly high.

To go down in Laker or Celtic lore, you legitimately have to be a future Hall of Famer. Name the best players in history from these organizations and you're left rattling off a slew of the game's best of all time (i.e. Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, etc.).

But the standard is completely different in Dallas, and this is why Terry is deserving to one day see his #31 jersey hanging in the American Airlines Center.

When an organization wins its first ever title, history is imprinted in a way that will never be forgotten. The first championship tends to be the most special and the names of the featured players will be talked about for many years.

Terry epitomizes a player who will be treasured in this sense. Not only was he the No. 2 threat after Dirk Nowitzki, he was also a magnetic personality. He even got a tattoo of the Larry O'Brien trophy prior to the 2010-11 season. What would have been deemed a downright foolish decision became a headline because Terry "backed it up" throughout the season and especially the playoffs.

Plus, while his numbers have never been "All-Star" worthy (he's never averaged more than 20 points per game in his career), he's steadily poured in around 16 PPG a season off the bench.

What's more, he received the 2008-09 Sixth Man of the Year Award and helped lead Dallas to the playoffs in each of his eight seasons with the club (including two Finals appearances).

Performance wise, what sets him apart as a Mavs great was his scorching of the Heat in the 2011 Finals. He hit timely bucket after timely bucket throughout the series and cashed 27 points on 11-16 shooting in the closeout Game Six.

His efforts in bringing the Mavs their first title will never be forgotten. That's the bottom line. He helped lead a Dallas team, which was once a laughingstock in the 1990s, to the NBA pinnacle. This surge couldn't have happened without "the Jet," and as a result, his number should be etched into Mavs history forevermore. 

This is a decision for Mark Cuban to wisely think through. Nowitzki's number will obviously one day hang from the ceiling, but another Mav from this same era should sit right next to Dirk's #41. Terry was a mainstay in Dallas for years and provided clutch performances and camaraderie. He's far more deserving to have his number retired than Shawn Marion or Jason Kidd.

Terry's become an icon in the great sports town of Dallas, whose main professional sports success has come from the Cowboys. But now the Mavs have added to the script in a whole new fashion and "the Jet" has been an integral reason for this. 

Cuban would be wise to reward what Terry contributed to the sports scene in Big D, and quite frankly, if #31 isn't retired, Dallas fans have reason to be upset with their animated owner.