BOSTON — Anyone hoping Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier might show up to TD Garden for Thursday’s showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks decked out in his infamous Drew Bledsoe jersey will be disappointed to learn he’s keeping it stashed in the closet.
The Rozier/Eric Bledsoe rivalry emerged as one of the most unexpected and entertaining storylines of a thrilling first-round playoff series between the two teams last season. But as the Celtics and Bucks meet for the first time during the 2018-19 campaign, Rozier will keep his focus on the court.
"No, I’ll leave [the jersey] for last year,” Rozier told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin at Thursday’s morning shootaround. "Focus on the win, and trying to get the win.”
Rozier downplayed any animosity between the players, which spawned after Rozier inadvertently called the Milwaukee guard “Drew,” the first name of the former Patriots quarterback, early in the series. Bledsoe responded by suggesting he didn’t know, "who the f— that is,” when asked about Roizer.
Then Rozier showed up to TD Garden in Drew Bledsoe’s No. 11 Patriots jersey and the story line exploded. Later, Bledsoe himself made the trek from his west coast home in Washington to sit courtside for a game later in the playoffs.
So is there any bitterness between Rozier and Bledose that lingers?
“No, it's just two guys that want to win, competitive,” said Rozier. "Like I’ve been saying, I don’t have no bad blood with nobody. It’s all love when I see him. But every time we on that court, whether we gotta fight, that’s what it’s going to be, because it’s just two guys that are competitive. After the game, it’s all love.”
The Bucks enter as the NBA’s only remaining undefeated team at 7-0. And that adds a bit of intrigue to the early season matchup.
"It’s big for us. It’s big for us, even if they wasn’t undefeated,” said Rozier. "This is two teams that want to rule the East, want to take over the East, we got a lot to show tonight. And show the world we back as the Celtics.”
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