Terry Rozier arrived to Game 1 of the Celtics’ second-round playoff matchup against the 76ers on Monday rocking a Drew Bledsoe jersey. His outfit may have been a not-so subtle jab at a player he helped eliminate from the playoffs in the first round, or it could have been a salute to a new high-profile fan he helped convert last week.
Terry Rozier really showed up in a Bledsoe jersey... pic.twitter.com/0XHnp65w7A— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 30, 2018
Even Drew Bledsoe himself approved!
Rozier had some beef in the first round
The Celtics guard earned the starting role after Kyrie Irving’s season ended early with a knee injury and subsequent minor surgery. In Boston’s first-round playoff matchup, they were tasked with facing the Milwaukee Bucks, whose starting point guard is Eric Bledsoe.
Things are starting to come together now, huh?
Rozier was asked a question about Milwaukee’s up-tempo pace, and when referencing the Bucks’ two lead playmakers, Bledsoe and Giannis Antetokounmpo, he accidentally said Drew Bledsoe — the former quarterback for the New England Patriots.
That moment lent itself to Eric Bledsoe saying he didn’t even know who Terry Rozier was, with some stronger language added for emphasis.
After the Celtic’s convincing 117-101 win over Philadelphia in the second round, TNT’s Rosalyn Gold-Onwude asked Rozier about the jersey choice.
“I got love for my guy Drew Bledsoe” Rozier said while cracking a wide smile.
The Drew Bledsoe reference got so hot that the actual, real-life, ex-Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe showed support with a message midway through the fourth quarter that was shown on the jumbotron:
“Man, that was special,” he said, via The Boston Globe. “That was dope. I don’t know who thought of that, but that was nice. For real. I liked that.”
Rozier eventually got the best of Bledsoe in the entire series. He averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game, including a 26-point, nine-assist closeout Game 7. Bledsoe finished with 23 points in the Bucks’ elimination game, but it was clear Rozier won the battle of the point guards in this round.
The two guards eventually squashed their beef after Game 7 with hugs and smiles after the final buzzer.
Bledsoe and Rozier with the respect following Game 7 pic.twitter.com/cZ8wjcrCfm— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 29, 2018
And Bledsoe offered the following explanation for their short-lived rivalry:
“It’s the playoffs,” Bledsoe said, via Matt Valezquez of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “What’d you expect, us to be out there shaking hands, giving out hugs the whole time? S--- ain’t gonna happen. He had a hell of a series. Got to take my hat off to him.”
Terry Rozier clearly knows Bledsoe’s full name, and if Eric Bledsoe didn’t know who Terry Rozier was before this series, he does now.
And after rocking that Drew Bledsoe jersey, Rozier now has a new friend:
“That’s my guy,” he said before Game 1 against the 76ers. “Never had a conversation with him, but that’s my guy.”