Celtics’ Payton Pritchard Calls Out College Story From Jay Wright

Payton Pritchard

Getty Payton Pritchard

Villanova Men’s College Basketball Coach Jay Wright made an interesting claim about Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard. Wright told The New York Post’s Stefan Bondy that Pritchard had considered going to Villanova during his days as a college recruit, but something changed his mind.

“We thought we were getting Payton Pritchard,” Wright told Bondy in a February 19 story. “We thought they could play together like [Ryan Arcidiacono] did with Jalen (Brunson). And they played one-on-one, and I think Payton was like, ‘Oh my God, we didn’t know about this guy [DiVincenzo]. And then after that, they were like, ‘We’re still going to look around.’ ”

Former Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire caught wind of the story, then posted on his X account that he’ll ask Pritchard himself if it’s true.

Pritchard gave a blunt response via his X account, saying that the story is “cap,” as he signified with a cap emoji.

“Cap” is slang nowadays for a lie. Pritchard did not give his side of the story but made it clear that that’s not what happened. He did not mention what exactly was a lie. He may have played against the New York Knicks wing, but their one-on-one may not have influenced why he passed on Villanova.

Payton Pritchard Reveals Who Helped Him Last Year

The Celtics cut down Payton Pritchard’s role on the team following the acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon in 2022. Pritchard would usually play if one of Brogdon, Marcus Smart, or Derrick White were absent. Or, if the game had already been decided, Pritchard would step on the court.

Such a role was hard for Pritchard to accept since the Celtics had previously featured him in the rotation. Pritchard revealed that former Celtics assistant Aaron Miles was the one who helped him get through the hard times.

“I appreciate him for that because I needed him at that time,” Pritchard told Jay King of The Athletic in a February 7 story. “It was just having somebody there at all times talking to me and making sure that I know what I’m capable of, and we’re going to keep working toward that.

“You see a lot of guys stop playing, and they mentally break, and then they’re not in the league anymore because of that. So, not letting it break me. You need good people in your corner like that to get through your tough times.”

Payton Pritchard Praises Jordan Walsh

After the Celtics blew out the Nets on February 14, Payton Pritchard praised Celtics rookie Jordan Walsh. Pritchard believes that Walsh will be a good player, though he’ll have to get past jitters as a rookie.

“Jordan, he’s gonna be a really, really good player. Obviously [February 15] was his first real NBA minutes, so he was probably a little nervous and energetic. But I see him every day working and stuff, and he’s going to be a special player,” Pritchard told reporters, per Sports Illustrated’s Bobby Krivitsky’s X account.

Walsh played a total of four games in his rookie season. The Celtics haven’t depended on him to do much in his first NBA season, but that will likely change as the years go by.

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