Jason Terry is leaving his Arizona assistant coaching position to be the head coach of the Denver Nuggets’ new G League team—the Grand Rapids Gold—according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Terry will take over as head coach of Grand Rapids after spending a full year as an assistant at his alma mater. Terry wanted to get on a path to becoming a head coach after an NBA career that included a championship with Mavs in 2011 and an NBA sixth-man of year award in 2009.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 19, 2021
Terry, a former All-American and member of Arizona’s 1997 national championship team, was hired by Sean Miller prior to the 2020-21 season and retained by new head coach Tommy Lloyd this spring.
Terry’s departure doesn’t come as a huge surprise. He was rumored to be a “strong candidate” to join the Dallas Mavericks’ coaching staff this summer and has been open about his aspirations of being a head coach at the pro level. Terry said this on a June 21 radio interview with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports:
“Don’t rule out me being on a bench here in the NBA. I also have aspired to give my 19 years of experience and knowledge to these young guys (at Arizona) and mentor these guys and show them the way. We’ll see what the cards hold but I’m enjoying my time at Arizona under the leadership of Tommy Lloyd and back at my alma mater, so I’m having fun doing what I do.”
Terry, a 19-year NBA veteran, also said this about being a head coach:
“When you put all the Xs and Os aside, it’s about managing people. Are you a people person? Can you get guys to buy into your system and fight for one cause in the betterment of the team? For me, that’s kind of what I did my whole career.”
Terry’s departure means Lloyd now has two assistant coaching vacancies to fill. UA legend Jason Gardner is a possible fit. He has college head coaching experience and was recently brought on board as Arizona’s director of player relations.