Basketball Kyrgios’ real obsession

Nick Kyrgios has made no secret that he doesn’t love tennis, and the controversial Australian player has finally admitted how deep his love for basketball runs.

Kyrgios’ flamboyant style and attire on the tennis court clearly has its roots in basketball, and a quick look at his various social media accounts quickly reveals his love for the Boston Celtics.

An article written by Kyrgios for The Players Tribune, titles ‘Why I Bleed Green’ was published on Wednesday. In the piece, the 22-year-old Kyrgios recalls a night at the Estoril Open earlier this month where he stayed up until the early hours of the morning to watch the Celtics in a NBA playoff game.

“This is my life on tour as a Celtics fan,” Kyrgios wrote.

“WiFi is a legit top-five priority in my life. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to stream an NBA playoff game on your phone in China. Crazy day, that. This was back when the Celtics lost to the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. The Internet wasn’t great. The picture was going in and out. I was losing the plot. It’s one thing to watch your team lose, it’s another level of pain when you’re watching them lose on a dodgy stream. Brutal.”

Kyrgios has never actually been to Boston, but regards himself as a hardcore fan of the team, and by his own admission he has ‘so many Celts jerseys it’s ridiculous’.

“Everything in my brain always goes back to basketball. Everything is a basketball analogy. I’ll sit around with my mates and try to match people on tour with their NBA counterpart,” Kyrgios added

“Roger Federer? Oh, he’s Ray Allen, bro. So professional, day in, day out. He just gets the job done. He’s a Ray Allen for sure.’ You can banter about that stuff for ages.

“People on tour will see me streaming games on my phone in the weirdest places and they’ll ask me why I’m so into basketball.

“I think it has something to do with tennis being such an isolated sport. You’re one-on-one out there. What I love about playing hoops is the team aspect. You look at a team like the Warriors, and their passing and chemistry are so incredible. It’s a different kind of sport. I just love it.”

Kyrgios has admitted that Federer is the tennis player he looks up to the most, but the athlete who influenced him the most is undoubtedly former Celtics star Kevin Garnett.

“Garnett is like my spirit animal,” Kyrgios said.

“… As a tennis player, there’s a lot I’ve learned from how insanely competitive KG is – even now, when he’s 39 years old, he’s still a maniac.

“He might offend some people, but at the end of the day sport is about winning or losing. Everything KG does, he does to help his team win. How can a guy play in the NBA from age 19 to 39 and stay on top? There’s the only one answer. Competitiveness. Crazy, crazy competitiveness.”