Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios is a notorious Boston Celtics basketball fan regularly wearing the NBA team’s apparel and memorabilia to his matches and media appearances. But by the tennis star’s own admission, it sounds like he sometimes lets Celtics losses impact his play a little more than he probably should.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim, Kyrgios was asked if his massive Celtics “had any carryover to his tennis.” Shockingly, Kyrgios revealed that he has actually “thrown tennis matches” if his favorite NBA team lost a close game.
“I’ve literally thrown tennis matches if they’ve lost in like, double overtime,” Kyrgios told Sports Illustrated. “If someone plays me and they know the Celtics have lost, that’s [their] chance. That is for sure your best chance [to beat me], to play me on that day.”
While the admission is rather shocking to most sports fans, it’s not exactly all that surprising for those who know Kyrgios. The Australian tennis star wrote an article for the Players’ Tribune in 2016 detailing how he stayed up until 4 a.m. to watch a Celtics first-round playoff win over the Hawks.
“The Celts fought back to force overtime in [Game 4], and I was pacing around the room like a madman,” Kyrgios wrote in the article. “I think O.T. started at like 3 a.m. I’m trying not to scream during every possession, so I’m doing that thing where you just whisper to yourself like a crazy person.
“Whispering, like: ‘Set the pick.… Come on, mate. Set the pick!’”
So next time the Celtics lose a close game, pay close attention to Kyrgios’ play the following day.