Celtics

Romeo Langford changed jersey number because No. 45 ‘made me look a little bit chunky’

"Got a little bit of weight off me, help me jump a little higher."

Romeo Langford
Boston Celtics guard Romeo Langford poses for a photo during the Boston Celtics Media Day. AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Celtics guard Romeo Langford is a unique personality, so perhaps his reason for switching jersey numbers is predictably unique: He felt No. 45 made him look “chunky.”

After Monday’s preseason opener against the Orlando Magic, in which Langford was the late hero with the go-ahead 3-pointer, the third-year guard was asked why he switched from the number he received when he entered the league.

“I just thought 45 was a little big, made me look a little bit chunky,” Langford said. “No. 9 is a little bit smaller. Got a little bit of weight off me, help me jump a little higher.”

To Langford’s point, he did try to dunk on a Magic defender during the Celtics’ 98-97 victory. The attempt was rejected, but Langford was high in the air.

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Langford entered the game late and was just 2-for-6 from the floor, but he was 2-for-2 from 3-point range. An improved jumper would be an encouraging development given Langford’s handle and size.

Langford said he appreciated the support from his teammates, who streamed onto the court to celebrate after his go-ahead triple.

“It felt good,” he said. “It felt good just to get out there and knock down a couple shots and knock down a big one.”

Ime Udoka said Langford will get more opportunities as the preseason continues, and that the coaching staff wants to see him play with both the starters and the second unit.

“To sit there for three quarters and to come in and play the way he did in the fourth quarter is obviously good for him and good for the team, but it should give him a huge confidence boost,” Udoka said. “He was able to hit some big shots late. He was extra aggressive. He did some things well, and had a few back cuts on defense, but we’ll clean those things up.”

The Celtics take on the Raptors on Saturday in their second preseason game.

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