Jason Terry getting into the swing after healing from knee surgery

New Nets player Jason Terry speaks at a New Nets player Jason Terry speaks at a press conference at the Barclays Center where the Brooklyn Nets also introduced Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. (July 18, 2013) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

advertisement | advertise on newsday

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Months later, as he starts on this new Brooklyn journey, Jason Terry's enthusiastic vibe appears no different from the moment he found out he was being shipped to the Nets.

An exuberant feeling nearly burst through Terry's skin that late June night. He knew that at age 36 and with his career winding down, he still could make good on his aspirations to add a second ring to his resume.

"I was excited," Terry said Friday. "I was excited for another opportunity to win. Obviously, in Boston we thought we had that last year and injuries happened to us early and then going into the offseason, [coach Doc Rivers] left.

"So in that situation, it wasn't going to be good for me. It was, 'Where can I get to to have another opportunity to win a championship?' And [Kevin Garnett] called me first and was like, 'I think this is going to go down.' And then it happened."

When the trade went through, most observers deservedly focused on the new Nets tandem of Garnett and Paul Pierce. But Terry's inclusion in the deal could be just as instrumental, given his scoring punch off the bench and the added leadership the Nets expect him to provide.

Terry, working his way back from left knee surgery in the offseason, took the next step in the Nets' plan to ease him back into the swing of things. He practiced with the team for roughly 90 minutes Friday, with full contact for the second time this week.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Nets coach Jason Kidd said the veteran shooting guard is "going in the right direction," and Terry hopes to play in the Nets' final two preseason games.

Until the Nets can get Terry and Deron Williams (sprained right ankle) out on the court together, the team can't get a true chemistry gauge. But at least Terry's getting closer. His shot -- and chatty nature -- are close to form, too.

"Jet brings leadership," said Joe Johnson, using Terry's nickname. "He's a talker, so he's always keeping guys in the right spot and things that you don't see sometimes, but just from sitting back and watching, he sees. He's always communicating from that standpoint, he's always talking to the bench guys who are coming into the game and telling them their job, what they should be doing, what they shouldn't be doing.

"He's been great for the team. He got out here today and was scrimmaging with us and he was knocking down a lot of shots. So everybody knows what he can do."

Said Terry: "It felt great just being out there. It's one thing to be on the side, 'Rah, rah, rah.' But now you're out there in the pit, in the fire, and it definitely felt good."

When playing with the second unit, Terry should give the Nets a constant outside threat to help open things up, creating space for Andray Blatche to operate on the blocks and Andrei Kirilenko to go to the basket.

Having played with the Seattle native on the Mavericks' 2011 championship team, Kidd knows all about Terry's pedigree.

"It's big because he's a guy who has been in a lot of different situations, made big shots," Kidd said. "Another vocal voice on the floor and on the bench. He's won sixth man of the year, so he understands how important the bench is. He's big for us. So to see him back and to see the way he played today in practice was good."

You also may be interested in: