Jason Terry has a history of coming through on championship-sized boasts. Prior to the 2010-11 season, he inked an image of the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, which he ended up hoisting at the end of that season after his Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Terry getting a new tattoo, this one featuring the Celtics logo with the gilded wastebasket, was therefore not to be taken lightly. In case the bold message was lost on anyone, Terry explicitly stated the purpose of the tattoo in an interview with CBS Boston.
“He’s spinning the Larry O’Brien Trophy, that we will win,” Terry said of the Celtics mascot depicted in his tattoo.
Terry, a 6-foot-2 guard with a scorer’s mentality, would not have gotten where he is without confidence. That quality took him from being a backpack-toting backup on Arizona’s 1997 national championship team to being an NBA Sixth Man of the Year and one of the great shooters in league history.
Terry insists his prediction is not simply bluster, though. He offered a succinct explanation for why he believes this year’s Celtics team can win it all.
“If I looked at our team and what they accomplished last year, they’re one game away,” Terry told CBS Boston. “They’re one game away from going back to the NBA Finals, and I think they win it. This year, put a little ‘Jet’ fuel into the mix, and I think we have the team.”
The Celtics would be happy if it were only that simple. Boston got a few breaks along the way to get to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and is unlikely to get those breaks two years in a row. Injuries to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah spared the Celtics a rough second-round series against the Bulls, and Chris Bosh‘s abdominal injury helped the Celtics take a 3-2 lead in the conference finals against the Heat. The Sixers got better this summer with the addition of Andrew Bynum, and the Heat are not only healthy, they added marksman Ray Allen this offseason.
For the Celtics, contending for the title in 2013 is not merely a matter of getting better by adding Terry, Courtney Lee and a healthy Jeff Green. They might be in the championship mix, but despite being only one game away last season, the Celtics face a challenge to live up to Terry’s confident words and ink.