LAS VEGAS — You know you have reached star status when John Thompson and Nancy Lieberman make it a point to welcome your presence.
That’s what happened when former UA guard and 11-year NBA vet Jason Terry walked into the Cox Pavilion here Saturday night. Thompson, the legendary former Georgetown coach, leaned forward in his chair to capture Terry’s attention and flashed that genuine John Thompson smile as he shook Terry’s hand.
Lieberman, one of the greatest women’s basketball players in history, grabbed Terry’s arm and asked incredulously, “What are you doing here?”
The answer to that question describes Terry in a nutshell: He cares about winning. He could be on a pleasure cruise right now, or at a nearby casino here in Las Vegas. Instead, he took a seat behind the Mavericks’ bench during the NBA Summer League game with Houston on Saturday night and shouted out some instruction as if he was a coach.
Speaking of that, Terry wants to coach, and he wants that to be at Arizona, unequivocally. That’s one of the topics he chatted with me about minutes before Dallas played Houston. Here’s the Q&A:
Q: What are your thoughts about your career now? You’re going to be in your 12th season. How much longer do you think you’ll be playing?
Terry: God-willing, I’ll play about six more years and then I will ride off into the sunset. What I’ve been doing lately is I’ve turned to (coaching) an AAU program in Dallas. This year, my sixth-grade girls took second place. Unbelievable (he said with excitement). You know, coaching kids and being out in the community that’s something I love to do and that’s something I’ll probably do in the future.