Boston Celtics rookie Payton Pritchard grew up idolizing a player who gave C's fans plenty of headaches over the years.
The 22-year-old revealed Tuesday that his favorite NBA player was Miami Heat great Dwyane Wade.
“My guy growing up was D-Wade. Huge Dwyane Wade fan. Wore No. 3 growing up because of him,” Pritchard told reporters. “That’s kind of the reason I fell in love with basketball in the first place."
Not exactly a pick Green Teamers will love, but it isn't difficult to see why Pritchard looked up to Wade. You'd be hard-pressed to find many guys who played harder than the three-time NBA champion and 2006 Finals MVP day in and day out.
Pritchard went on to name who he most looks forward to playing against in the NBA, and the Oregon product's pick shouldn't come as much of a surprise. That'd be none other than Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard.
"As far as guys I look forward to playing against, I mean, there’s so many talented players that, just looking forward to the challenge of seeing where I’m at as a basketball player and helping the Boston Celtics win. I’ll be looking forward to playing Portland just because that’s my hometown and looked up to Damian Lillard, unbelievable player. A game like that I’ll probably look forward to.”
The feeling probably is mutual. Lillard took to Twitter to congratulate Pritchard shortly after the Celtics drafted him in November.
Unfortunately for Pritchard, his first meeting with Lillard and the Trail Blazers will have to wait. Boston isn't scheduled to play against Portland in the first half of the 2020-21 season.
The Celtics will begin their new campaign Wednesday night vs. the Milwaukee Bucks with tip off set for 7:30 p.m. ET.