Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/8/14

Let me tell you a little story about me.

It was my junior year and I was co-captain of the Emerson College men's basketball team (the same team, incidentally, that produced Sam Presti and Rob Hennigan. Our career paths kinda went in different directions, huh?  Anyway... ). The team, historically, had sucked. I mean, REALLY, sucked. Like Bobcats bad. 

But that year was different. We had some star players and a nice mix of role players. I was pumped to be a captain and, when the schedule came out, I used it as a chance to motivate my guys. I quickly glanced at the 24 games on the sheet and I wrote on the board "This year's goal:  22-2."

I thought to myself, "that's a big number to work for. Everyone's going to be psyched to try for the school's first 20-win season." That's when the coach walked in. 

He looked at the board, cocked his head, and turned to the group.

"Who wrote this?"

I was proud of the goal. I spoke up. "I did."

[Uncomfortably long pause]

He squinted at me. Then exploded.

Who the [very loud, emphatic expletive deleted] do you think we're going to lose to?!? Here... here's the schedule. You look at it and pick the two games you think we're going to lose and I won't play you in those games!!!"

I felt a foot tall. But the message was tattooed on my brain. 

You never... EVER.. expect to lose. When you step onto that court, you have one goal in mind: win. If that's not your goal, then just sit down and hand out water to the rest of the guys. You can throw "be realistic" at me, players, and coaches all you want. They're not paid to be realistic. They're paid to win games. If they don't win games, people get fired, cut, or traded. 

This brings me to Jason Terry, who is on a one-man campaign to guarantee to anyone who will listen that the Boston Celtics are going to raise their 18th banner when the 2013-14 season opens. 

“If I looked at our team and what they accomplished last year – they’re one game away. They’re one game away from going back to the NBA finals, and I think they win it,” Terry told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton Thursday at the Reebok Headquarters in Canton.

“This year, put a little ‘Jet Fuel’ into the mix, and I think we have the team,” laughed a confident Terry.

JET's a confident guy. So confident, that he already got his Celtics championship tattoo. And that's ok. Because players don't think the same way fans do. They just don't.

Are the Celtics going to go 82-0 this season? Of course not. Everyone, including the players, know that is true. Assuming they will win 50-55 games this season, there are 27-32 losses on that schedule somewhere.

But good luck getting anything besides the death stare from Kevin Garnett when you ask him to pick out 27 losses. Go ask Kobe Bryant who HE expects to lose to this upcoming season, and I guarantee you he'll say "nobody."

I don't care if you're Bismack Biyombo. If you're asked about the "tough season coming up," you respond with "I go into every game expecting to win and trying to do everything I can to make that happen. If it turns out to be a tough season, we'll talk about it then. But I'm here to win games, and that's what I expect to do."

Yeah, that probably sounds like a crazy thing for a Bobcat to say, but as a coach, I'd be giddy hearing that from my player.  And as a coach, I am sure Doc Rivers, while he might hope for some of it to be put a little differently, is thrilled to have a guy on the bench of Terry's caliber so confident in his team.

Confidence is infectious. And confidence raises your level of play. You know it from the way you operate in your own life. If you are confident in something you are doing at work, you bang that task out without hesitation, knowing full well that everyone knows you're killing it. You know that when you are out on a date and you are confident, you make the right moves and end up having a great night. 

It is the same thing on the court. Confidence breeds success because confident players do things better, faster, and more precisely. The expectation that you are going to win is the basis of that confidence. And I would not want a team of players that did not go into the season saying they were good enough to win a title.



Report: Jim Harbaugh to Michigan is done deal

Amari Cooper not a fan of New Orleans, thinks it smells

WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence does Louisville chant at game

WATCH: Did Bret Bielema do ‘Horns Down’ gesture?

Devils unveil unique coaching by committee situation

Report: 49ers expect Jim Harbaugh to take Michigan job


Report: Johnny Manziel fined for being late to treatment

Duke Johnson's mother says son will enter NFL Draft

Starlin Castro questioned following nightclub shooting

Report: Jeff Driskel thinking about transfer to Duke

Browns suspend Josh Gordon for final game of season

Report: Rex Ryan has already cleaned out his office

WATCH: Nebraska safety pukes on field, keeps playing

WATCH: Nyquist holds puck for 28 seconds, scores OT winner

WATCH: Kevin Garnett blows in David West's ear

WATCH: Frank Beamer busts a move after bowl win

Bears could clean house after season

Nebraska chancellor booed by Huskers players?

WATCH: Rory McIlroy trolled by 'Sweet Caroline' song

Auburn, Wisconsin players literally ate tons of food

Did Kobe Bryant respond to heckler with the rings count?

Doug Fister bought Starbucks for his Twitter followers

DeMarco Murray dumped over cheating accusations?

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Amari Cooper not a fan of New Orleans

Harbaugh to Mich. is done deal

WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence supports Louisville with chant

Did Bielema do ‘Horns Down’?

WATCH: Beamer busts a move

Bears could clean house after season

Nebraska chancellor booed by players?

Johnny Manziel fined by Browns

Castro questioned after shooting

Rory McIlroy trolled with 'Sweet Caroline'

Browns suspend Josh Gordon

Kobe gives heckler the rings count?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.