From the late, great David Halberstam and his book A March to Madness: A View from the Floor in the Atlantic Coast Conference, page 37:
Every team needs a motherfucker, someone who is tough and mean and willing to do anything to win. That can mean getting in the other team’s face or getting in the face of a teammate if necessary. Michael Jordan was a motherfucker, even if his college coach wouldn’t use the term. Christian Laettner was a motherfucker and his college coach wouldn’t hesitate to use the term. Years ago, Maryland center Buck Williams, who carried a Bible with him everywhere he went, was a motherfucker. His coach liked to say of Williams: "Off the court he’s the nicest person you’ll ever meet. ‘Yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am. On the court, he’ll kill you if he has to."
Barnes was convinced he had a burgeoning motherfucker in Buckner, someone who would do anything to win a basketball game and never back down from anybody. That was what he felt his team needed to compete in the ACC: an attitude, one that said, “We are motherfuckers and you can’t scare us.”
(hat tip to my brother)