Ja’Whaun Bentley talked about his Celtics fandom and supporting other New England teams

"We're all competing for the New England area."

Ja'Whaun Bentley Patriots Celtics
Ja'Whaun Bentley during the Patriots' 2022 season. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When it comes to the Celtics‘ current playoff run, Patriots players are just like any other fan: They’re excited, but trying not to jinx anything.

Ja’Whaun Bentley, one of the Patriots’ defensive captains, said he will be in attendance for Tuesday night’s Game 5 of the Celtics-76ers Eastern Conference semifinals.

“We need a win today,” Bentley said during his press conference earlier on Tuesday. The Celtics are currently tied with Philadelphia in the best-of-seven series, 2-2.

“I’m not going to say too much, I don’t want to jinx them,” he quickly added, reiterating his message on Twitter afterward.

“I love having an opportunity to go see those guys play in their element, especially around playoff time,” said Bentley. “It’s big-time basketball. The 76ers are giving us a nice little run for our money, so I’m excited for the game tonight.”


Asked about the camaraderie between local teams, the 26-year-old linebacker said he appreciates supporting other athletes (and, in turn, when they support the Patriots).

“You’re all representing the same area, so you’re able to see the effect,” Bentley said. “When we have our games on Sundays, seeing those guys on the sideline, you kind of realize how tight-knit everything really is.

“We’re all competing for the New England area,” he continued. “So it always puts a little smile on your face when you see different guys from different teams showing support and showing love, whether they’re fans of the team or not, because sometimes we put that on them — like you might be from a different area. You don’t necessarily have to be a fan of the team, but just showing support for the team definitely means a lot.”

Though he didn’t grow up in New England, Bentley pointed out that his Celtics fandom began before he was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

“I actually grew up a [Celtics] fan,” Bentley explained. “Growing up [watching] Ray Allen, Eddie House, KG — all those guys — Paul Pierce, that era.”

“Always liked seeing, surprisingly, good defense around that time,” Bentley joked, given his position in football. “They were stopping teams at like 80 points a game at that moment, so it was good times for sure.”


The Celtics and 76ers tip off at TD Garden on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. Game 6 will take place on Thursday night in Philadelphia, also at 7:30 p.m.


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