Jason Terry is no stranger to the NBA Finals, and now he's officially no stranger to being wrong.
Though the combo guard has been known to exude an embraceable sense of arrogance (premature championship predictions, anyone?), he's never crossed the line that separates the overly confident from the hypocrites.
After the Boston Celtics' win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jason Terry (via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com) had plenty of affectionate words for teammate Paul Pierce accompanied by a not-so-subtle cheap shot at his predecessor in Ray Allen:
"His (Pierce) willingness to stick through the tough times and not just jump off, 'I'm out of here! I'm going to join forces with Kobe (Bryant),' or 'I'm going to play with Dwyane Wade'—that's a shot right there," Terry said.
Pot calling the kettle black much, Jason?
I'm all for paying homage to Paul Pierce's seemingly fierce loyalty, but must we do so at the expense of Allen?
Not only was Terry not a teammate of Allen's for five years, but as Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports' Ball Don't Lie blog notes, he's guilty of committing the same supposed injustice:
After determining, probably rightfully so, that those hopes weren’t likely to come true if he re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks. Probably the same summation Ray Allen made, before he decided to go off and sign with a team featuring three superstars … like Jason Terry did last summer.
Somewhere, Mark Cuban's eyes are bleeding.
Terry's accusation is absolutely absurd, to the point where he implicates himself in the process.
Are we supposed to look past the fact that Terry left the Dallas Mavericks in favor of a Celtics team that was deemed a contender? Are we supposed to hold him in higher regard because he left for more money while Allen took less elsewhere?
I'm also not about to declare both Allen and Terry the antithesis of loyalty just because they moved on from their previous homes. I understand why they both left.
Allen was not prepared to take a back seat with the Celtics. Sure, he and Rajon Rondo were less than friendly, but he was also being asked to come off the bench behind an inexperienced young gun in Avery Bradley.
In Miami, Allen is essentially backing up Dwyane Wade. That's not the same as playing second-fiddle to Bradley. He also has the opportunity to play alongside three other superstars in their prime, a luxury he was not afforded in Boston.
To say Terry left Dallas for similar reasons would be an understatement. Rondo is the only superstar the Celtics house who is currently in his prime, but with Pierce and Garnett by his side as well, Boston allowed him to team up with multiple star-esque talents.
Apparently that's fine. Apparently Terry isn't the traitor—Allen is, even though the two changed teams under similar motives.
Confused? I know I am.
What's also perplexing is the comparison Terry is attempting to draw here. By no means am I trying to belittle Pierce's loyalty, but would he still be a member of the Celtics if Garnett and Allen had never come to town?
Better yet, if he had been a free agent this past summer and been presented with an opportunity to play next to three of the NBA's top 15 stars, would his sense of allegiance have trumped such a temptation?
Maybe, but maybe not.
Who's to say he wouldn't have renounced the Celtics in favor of pastures that were supposedly greener than the jersey he was donning?
Again, I'm not criticizing Pierce. He's a fiercely dedicated icon, but let's not pretend that he and Allen are one in the same. Not only was he not a free agent, but did Allen really mean as much to the organization?
Pierce has played for Boston his entire career. Counting the team that drafted him—the Minnesota Timberwolves—Allen played for three teams before joining the Celtics. So let's not pretend that this was a blatant act of betrayal, because it wasn't.
Regardless of whether it entailed absconding from Boston or not, Allen decided to do what he believed was best for him, what he postulated was best for his career.
Just like Terry did.
And just like Pierce himself would have done.
All stats in this article are accurate as of December 20, 2012.
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