How Nick Kyrgios, Rising Tennis Star, Came To ‘Bleed Green’ For Celtics From Afar

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Nick Kyrgios

Apr 1, 2016; Key Biscayne, FL, USA; Nick Kyrgios hits a forehand against Kei Nishikori (not pictured) during a men's singles semifinal on day twelve of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Nishikori won 6-3, 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Like many young Boston Celtics fans, Nick Kyrgios counts Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas among his sports heroes.

But don’t call Kyrgios, one of men’s tennis’ budding stars, a bandwagon Celtics fan.

Kyrgios revealed Tuesday in The Players’ Tribune his passion for the Celtics and how he came to support them from over 10,000 miles away. The 21-year-old’s love for the Celtics started over a decade ago.

“My love for the Boston Celtics came from video games,” Kyrgios wrote. “Back in 2006, when I was 11 years old, I got my first NBA Live game on PSP (PlayStation Portable) … I was just starting to travel a lot for tennis all over Australia, and I needed a way to pass the time between tournaments.

“Video games were my window to the league from the other side of the world. So when I got NBA Live I started flipping through all the teams trying to decide who to play with, and I ended up picking the Boston Celtics.

“I thought the logo looked cool.”

That’s a good start, but the Celtics were a year away from transforming into a good team.

“You absolutely cannot accuse me of being a bandwagon fan,” Kyrgios continued. “I think they were rated like 76 overall. Fortunately, Paul Pierce was pretty sick. I think he was an 89 overall, and he had a unreal jumper. I fell in love with “the Truth” straight away. But they also had a crazy cast of characters — “the Red Mamba” Brian Scalabrine, Ricky Davis, Wally Szczerbiak.

“When the megatrade happened in 2008, and we brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, that might have been the happiest day of my life.”

Kyrgios continued to follow the Celtics closely through the years, and he wanted Thomas, whom he describes as “an absolute boss,” and his other current Celtics teammates to beat the Atlanta Hawks in this season’s NBA playoffs as badly as the rest of us did.

But unlike the rest of us, Kyrgios had to watch Boston vs. Atlanta at ungodly hours in hotel rooms in Europe on live streams.

Despite never having seen the Celtics play in person at the TD Garden, Kyrgios owns several Celtics jerseys. He’s looking forward to both adding another one and a brighter future for his favorite NBA team.

“You should see my closet back home in Australia,” he concluded. “I’ve got so many Celts jerseys it’s ridiculous. Pierce, Rondo, Bird, Garnett, Ray Allen. I’m hoping to add a Durant one in the future. Come on, KD! You’ll love it, bro.”

Let us know when you finally arrive in Boston, Nick. First round’s on me.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images

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