Tennis enfant terrible Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of a tennis tournament next year to play … a game of celebrity basketball.
Media outlets have reported that Kyrgios has pulled out the Rotterdam Open — an ATP event — to play in basketball’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in February.
Kyrgios confirmed last month his plan to play in the celebrity game and his longer-terms plans to quit tennis in his mid-20s to pursue an interest in basketball.
However, it was not known that the match clashed with an ATP tournament.
BBC has reported that Rotterdam tournament director Richard Krajicek released Kyrgios from his contract so he could play in the basketball showpiece in New Orleans.
“Kyrgios prefers his passion beyond his profession,” Krajicek reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Kyrgios is still on an eight-week ban from the ATP Tour for allegedly tanking, or not producing his “best effort”, in the Shanghai tournament last week.
Kyrgios since said he was “truly sorry” for his exploits, but was handed a lifeline of sorts with an offer to reduce the ban to three weeks if he agreed to “professional help”.
While Kyrgios appeared to initially accept the offer, he yesterday appeared to have backflipped and resolved himself to the eight-week ban.
The ban, which also included a $A25,000 ($A33,000), will keep him off the tour until January 15.
US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has been added to the Rotterdam field in place of Kyrgios.
Kyrgios and Gael Monfils basketball challenge