Jason Terry and Dionte Christmas have known each other for five year, dating back to a Reebok camp in Philadelphia when Christmas was still at Temple University. While their relationship was still a fledgling at that point, consisting of a simple “hey I watch you, you’re pretty good” exchange, they have become much closer over this NBA offseason.
After signing his non-guaranteed contract with the Celtics, Christmas has made a point of learning from Terry whenever possible, “He likes to get in and out, but he goes real hard for an hour,” said Christmas. “It’s something I’m not used to. I’m used to doing my thing, take a break, getting back at it. He goes straight through”. Christmas could learn a great deal from Terry, as they share a position on the court, and Terry has maintained his body and his abilities, even through his mid-thirties.
The Celtics signings of both Terry and Garnett to three year deals means they will both most likely finish their careers donning “Boston” across their chests. This not only comes as a sense of finishing out your career with a team that can compete for a championship, but it also means they can give whatever they have left to the organization. While the contracts for both Terry and KG were great in terms of what playing ability they have left, it also means they can mentor without fear that their tricks will one day be used against them. This is invaluable for the young bigs (Fab Melo and Sully) along with guards like Christmas, who seems to be listening when Terry decides to drop small nuggets of knowledge:
“No matter who you are, who you’re playing against, you have to respect every opponent – he always says things like that,” said Christmas. “I think that’s why he’s so respected around the league because he respects the game so much and everybody sees that. I saw that the first time me and him even got on the court together. He respects the game so much and he doesn’t take plays off. He always wants to win. I think that’s what guys respect the most about Jason and that’s what I’m taking from him.”
As Celtics fans hope they continue this relationship for the benefit of the team, we can all celebrate their shared birthday on September 15th when Christmas turns 26 and Terry turns 35. Adorable.
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