Payton Pritchard will wear jersey No. 11 in Boston, following Enes Kanter, Kyrie Irving originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
There is a long history with the No. 11 Boston Celtics jersey.
The newest NBA player to sport No. 11 in Beantown is former Oregon Duck Payton Pritchard, who was selected with the No. 26 overall pick by Boston in the 2020 NBA Draft last week.
But let’s take you on a journey examining what conspired between the previous two owners of No. 11 in green and white.
On August 22, 2017, the Celtics traded a future first-round pick, Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic and Jae Crowder for then Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving. It was an interesting two seasons with Irving in Boston, to say the least.
"It is a high price tag," said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge back in 2017. "But acquiring a 25-year-old perennial All-Star, a player that fits a timeline for us and is a fantastic offensive player, one of the best offensive players in the league, you have to pay a heavy price."
A heavy price and turns out, not much return in investment.
Irving was praised for what he did on the court but heavily criticized for his leadership. He averaged 24.4 points (second career best) and dished 5.1 assists per game while shooting 40.8 percent from three-point range. But the postseason was a different story. Irving was out due to injury for the 2018 playoffs (Boston lost to Cleveland 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals) and then lost 4-1 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semi-finals in 2019.
Irving then departed for the Brooklyn Nets.
In came the next player to wear No. 11 in Boston: Enes Kanter.
Kanter, who went to Boston after one season with the Portland Trail Blazers, poked a little fun at the departed Irving during his introductory press conference in 2019.
According to NBC Sports Boston, “Kanter's comments are in reference to a Nike commercial Irving starred in last fall during which he says "(My dad is) the reason I wear No. 11, and I want to be the reason no one else will."
Enes Kanter on why he chose #11 😏 pic.twitter.com/Nfp1kGY6Aj
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) July 17, 2019
In his lone season in Boston, Kanter averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 16.9 minutes played per game, 58 games total.
Now, Kanter is “back home” with the Trail Blazers this upcoming season, thus leaving the Celtics No. 11 jersey vacant.
Payton Pritchard has officially signed and will now wear No. 11 in Boston.
Hopefully his career will turn out better than the previous two owners of that jersey.