One of the more superstitious basketball players is Jason Terry. Every night before a game, he sleeps in the shorts of the team is about to play next.
Regimented rules dictate Jason Terry’s basketball life. One would strain to call them rational. The night before each game, he wears the opposing team’s uniform shorts to bed, a habit that tests his wife’s patience. On game day, a few hours before tipoff, he eats a meal that involves chicken. On the court, a headband and high socks have been must-wear accessories since college. If he misses consecutive shots during the first quarter, the changes his sneakers during the next intermission.
“I’m a different dude,” Terry said. “My daughters say I’m a weirdo.”
Terry, a 36-year-old shooting guard, will heed these rituals Wednesday when he makes his debut for the Nets, who face the Boston Celtics in their second-to-last preseason game. Terry came to the Nets this summer as something of an afterthought in the colossal deal that moved Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn. Sitting out almost the entire preseason while rehabilitating from an arthroscopic knee procedure has only extended that third-wheel status.
But Terry should emerge from the margin soon enough. While integrating aging stars into their squad, the Nets have stressed their roster depth as a key factor in their championship quest. And Terry, besides being one of the league’s most superstitious players, happens to be one of its most accomplished bench scorers.