DALLAS -- Retribution mattered.
Immediately after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to clinch the Western Conference championship, Jason Terry attempted to downplay the possibility of a potential NBA Finals rematch against the dreaded Miami Heat. The Heat and Chicago Bulls were headed to Game 5 in the East finals the next night with Miami in control, 3-1.
"It doesn't matter who we play," Terry said adamantly. "Whoever shows up in those uniforms they know they're going to have a fight on their hands because we're going to go out and we're going to leave it all out on the floor. We know what happened last time, and it's our job to seal the deal."
It wasn't until Tuesday's exit interviews back at the American Airlines Center that Terry finally admitted just how good it had felt to win his and the franchise's first title against the team that took it from them five years earlier.
Terry was asked for his favorite moment in the Finals. It wasn't his Game 5 dagger from 26-feet away or his cross-over dribble past LeBron James and kick-out to Jason Kidd for a killer 3 in the same game or his 19-point first half in Game 6. It wasn't even his gutsy challenge of James after Game 3.
This was it:
"Just seeing the faces of the Miami Heat when we won. Not only the players, but the fans," Terry said. "Going through that arena and remembering what they did to us. To do it on their court ... It would've been special doing it here in front of our fans, but on their court ..."
So, Terry was asked as a follow-up, redemption did matter?
"No question," Terry said. "I had to play it up, didn't want to use that as a motivating factor going in, but walking out of that same locker room, those same ballboys -- all that played a factor."