Jason Terry is one of the most charismatic players in the NBA. The former Sixth Man of the Year has made a career off providing his team with an electric scoring punch off the bench. His unlimited supply of confidence has allowed him to get it done in the clutch when it matters most.
The 6-2 combo guard enters his 15th NBA season and first with the Brooklyn Nets after stops in Atlanta, Dallas and his recent short stay in Boston. With the release of Reebok’s Pumpspective Omni on the horizon this fall, we got the chance to talk to him about Reebok’s new-school shoe that’s inspired from it’s old-school flavor.
In addition to talking about his new on-court sneaker, we caught up with Jason about his favorite retros, moving on from Boston, his expectations for coach Jason Kidd and his thoughts on the Knicks’ championship aspirations.
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Dime: So the Pumpspective Omni is a new shoe launching this fall by Reebok that’s bringing back the retro pump technology and combining it with more modern basketball sneaker characteristics. Tell me your thoughts on this new Reebok shoe that you’ll be wearing on the court and how they feel?
Jason Terry: Well the new shoe is incredible. For me, not only do I like style but I like performance so I was a huge fan of the Omni Pump Light when they were originally first worn on Dee Brown. I think I wore them in eighth grade and I literally wore that shoe until I had a hole on the right shoe, on the right toe. First of all, I thought it was cool because of the pump and it was something that was new technology back then, but for that to still be around right now and still be able to perform the way it does I think is amazing. Again, the shoe (the Pumpspective Omni) is light and that’s the new technology of it, but it still has the pump feature which gives you the comfort and the stability that you’re looking for when you’re out there playing.
Dime: Reebok Basketball also recently changed their marketing campaign by focusing on re-launching retro classics, which has received great feedback by both the sneaker and basketball communities. How does it feel to be part of sort of the rebirth of Reebok Basketball?
JT: Well it’s a lifestyle for me. Being on the Reebok brand for eight years now, I understand where their focus is and who they cater their on-court and off-court shoes towards. Right now, it’s basically the movement. There’s a new retro- it’s in style, it’s hot and again it’s all about comfort. You know, comfort for me is everything. I’ve played many and many of basketball games and so now when I’m off the court, I still want to put something on that’s comfortable but still be able to have the style of a basketball-type shoe. And I think that’s something that’s very innovative and it’s something that’s taking off and it’s different than the everyday brand like the Nikes and adidas. So that’s why I like it- I personalize it. Everybody at Reebok is like a family to me and that’s the type of brand and atmosphere that we create as a brand.
Dime: Speaking of the retros as you mentioned rocking the Omni Pump Lights in the eighth grade, what have been your favorite retros to rock on the court thus far?
JT: Well the Answer 4s I rocked this season and they were pretty good. But what’s always dear and close to my heart is the Reign Man’s. And this year, the Reign Mans aren’t out yet but the Kamikaze 1s I’ve been out there playing in. I played in them in high school and we won a state championship so I’m kind of superstitious, so when they decided to re-launch it and being from Seattle, I thought it was a dream come true. And these are the most comfortable Retro’s I’ve ever played in- is the Kamikaze’s. I know were talking about the Pumps and we’re supposed to pump em’, but the Kamikaze’s on and off court are very comfortable and they’re stylish.
Dime: What about off the court in terms of the retros?
JT: The thing about them off the court with the retros is that you can still wear what you’re wearing on the court off the court because they give you the color schemes and the style. Like I said, they’re so comfortable- that’s just how I rock them. You can rock the Kamikazes with jeans, with the polo and still look good. You know, a lot of basketball shoes, per say over the years, you couldn’t do that. I hate to talk bad about ’em but you can’t put on the Weapons and go out there and think you’re stylin’ in jeans, so that’s just how I feel about it.
Dime: Speaking of the colorways, do you know how many colorways Reebok’s planning on releasing with the Pumpspective Omni?
JT: I don’t know exactly how many but I know for me personally, which is another great thing about being on the Reebok brand as an athlete is that I have a lot of say-so in what color schemes I use, what material I put on the shoes. So being able to personalize my shoe as an exclusive is incredible. Just the different bright colors that are out now, you know the florescent greens, my high school colors were black, green and white so the Kamikazes I wore were in that color. Any of the Iversons. He has the best color range and variety and any of his are phenomenal.
Dime: Moving on to the upcoming season, when did you know it was time to move on from the Celtics and how excited were you when you found out that you’d continue playing with your brothers KG and Paul in Brooklyn?
JT: Well when they decided Doc Rivers wouldn’t be back and the next two or three days after that Garnett was gone and then Paul left, I knew it was my time and I was only there a short while. But those three guys were very instrumental on bringing me to Boston and so once they left and I had an opportunity to go with them to compete, not Doc, but for Kevin and Paul, you know I was very excited. Because at this point in my career, it’s all about championships and solidifying my legacy and so I’m able to do that in Brooklyn. The fans are excited. It’s a new era, a new day in basketball out here in New York. The Brooklyn-New York rivalry is going to be even crazier this year but everybody knows to win a championship you have to go through the champs and Miami’s definitely on the target list.
Dime: What have you, Paul and Kevin been up to this offseason? Have you been working out at all together?
JT: Well it’s amazing, you would think that guys who are in the stage of their career that we’re at — 15 years for myself, 16 years for Paul, 19 for Kevin — you would think that we would just show up at training camp and then kind of figure it out. But this year, we’ve already been in L.A. with the entire team training for a week. Now myself and Paul, we’re back in Brooklyn now, early September, you know gettin’ it in, putting in that hard work that’s going to be needed when the season comes. So the chemistry is going to be amazing. That’s going to be a special book that we put together because we’re already bonding now.
Dime: I know it still sounds funny, but how excited are you to play for your former backcourt mate in J-Kidd this season?
JT: It’s going to be amazing, on and off the court. You know we’re avid golfers so we’ll definitely be hitting the links. But Jason, he and I’s relationship is very special. It’s dear. We’re friends. We won a championship together but we had time to bond with one another and he’s one of my idols. He’s the greatest point guard in my eyes that’s ever played the game and I can’t imagine what he’s going to do as a head coach because he’s been coaching all his life.
Dime: Do you think there will be any adjustment period for the rest of the guys, especially the veterans to get used to him on the sideline?
JT: And people always ask that question but every year you step on the court in the NBA is an adjustment period. You know, guys move in and out, you got new teammates, maybe sometimes a new coach. I don’t see this (as) any different. Every year is a new journey and this is just another new journey. They brought a special group of guys together and we all know what the goal is, and we’re here to fight for it, until they carry us off.
Dime: Speaking of this upcoming season, you recently said that you guys have “the formula” to knock off the 2013 NBA champions, the Miami Heat. But there’s also another team in New York with championship aspirations after J.R. Smith recently guaranteed that the Knicks would be crowned in 2014. Talk about the hype going into this new found rivalry.
JT: They would win what? What did he guarantee? They would win what? I didn’t hear that.
Dime: The championship.
JT: They would win the championship?
Dime: Yeah, he said 100 percent guarantee.
JT: The NBA championship?
JT: Right. Maybe the Rucker Park Championship. I don’t know, not the NBA championship. I don’t see how they could guarantee that, at all. I’m not buying it, so… I mean, it’s a bitter rivalry, you know it’s going to be intense, and however they feel over there in that locker room they are guaranteed and entitled to feel that way but we don’t want to see that happen on our watch.
Dime: I love it man.
Dime: Last question that I have to ask since you’re known for your confidence and swagger on and off the court. Do you have any predictions for this upcoming season?
JT: Nah, only thing I can predict is that we’re going to go out every night and do all that we can, as a team, as a unit, as a (borough) of Brooklyn to go out and fight for that championship because that’s all of our goals. And we’re going to do whatever we can within our power to go after it.
Which team in New York will be better this year?
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