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Patrick Mahomes explains Travis Kelce’s freelancing as he talks about ‘The Match’

The Chiefs’ quarterback looks forward to competing in a second sport with his favorite target.

Capital One’s The Match VI - Brady & Rodgers v Allen & Mahomes Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for The Match

Earlier this month, TNT announced that the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce will face off against Steph Curry and Klay Thompson of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors in the eighth edition of Capital One’s “The Match.”

Mahomes appeared on NBA TNT Tip-Off on Thursday to discuss the golf event, to be held on June 29th from the Wynn resort in Las Vegas.

While his competitive nature drives him to prepare for the event, Mahomes admits his time is stretched with the Chiefs now in the midst of organized-team activities (OTAs) — and now with two children.

“We have this offseason training program going on right now,” he explained, “so we get done at like 2:00. In between taking the kids to the park and everything like that, I try to get a few rounds [of golf] in. Today, Brittany blessed me and let me go out there and play with Trav. I think we’ve got our game in a good spot. I think we’re going to come with the trophy after this next Match coming up.”

The reigning MVP was much more laid back with hosts Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith than he is often seen during official team media. While offseason practice time has strict limits — as the New England Patriots were reminded this week — Mahomes stressed that head coach Andy Reid gets the most of the time available.

“I think they give us like an hour to spend on the field,” he revealed. “You know Coach Reid is old school — he’s going to take up that whole hour. So we’re out there working [and] getting after it. [We have] a lot of young guys. We’ve got some veterans like Trav and [defensive tackle] Chris Jones out there too. We get in, get our work in, and get out of there — and try to get ready for the season.”

Even after the Chiefs’ season ended with a second Super Bowl win in four seasons, few would have expected to see Mahomes participating in a golf event — or possibly any physical activity in the offseason. After suffering a high-ankle sprain in the divisional round victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mahomes aggravated the injury just before halftime of the Super Bowl.

“It’s good,” he said of his ankle. “It definitely took a lot longer than I expected to heal. At this point, now, I’ve been able to run around, hit some golf balls, throw the football around — and do whatever. I’ve been in a good spot. I’ve actually been working on my jump shot too. I’m going to have to show y’all that at some point.”

American Century Championship - Round Two Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Given his competitive nature and Curry’s well-known golf skills, Mahomes knows that the contest will likely come down to what Kelce and Thompson can bring to their pairings.

“I’m actually pretty consistent [even] with how ugly my golf swing technically is,” he observed. “I’ve kind of figured it out based on a player that plays golf. Trav, he has a long swing — but when he hits it right, he hits it really far. So I’m hoping the scramble, shamble format helps us.

“Obviously we know Steph — he’s basically a scratch golfer so that’s kind of the guy that we’re going to be shooting to go against. And Klay — I’ve heard a little bit. I’m sure he can golf a little bit. Being buddies with Steph, I’m sure they get out on the course. I think the competitor in me and Trav is going to come out. We’ve actually won a celebrity tournament at the Wynn before. So we’re trying to make sure the trophy stays in our hands.”

Mahomes also took the opportunity to explain what makes his connection with his tight end so special — regardless of the sport.

“I think you’ve seen kind of similar with Steph and Klay,” he noted. “I think it’s just the chemistry that we have on the field. I know where he’s going to be at. If you drew Travis’ routes during a game, you’d have no idea what to call it. He just goes out there and plays football. I think just me having that chemistry and knowing where he’s going to be at, I can try to get it to him as fast as possible.

“Having coach Reid and having these great players around me, it’s made it easy for me — and we’ve been able to win two Super Bowls. I’m going to keep Trav around. We’re going to try to win as many as possible before we’re all done and we can kind of hang them up there.”

When asked how Kelce always seems to be open, Mahomes had an interesting theory.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“It’s because [Kelce] never runs the actual route that coach Reid calls,” he half-joked. “We just let Travis do whatever he wants out there on the football field. He’s good enough to not get in trouble — I think that’s how he’s been his whole life. He can just kind of get by and use his athleticism and not get in trouble. That’s Travis for you. Luckily for me, he’s on my football team — and I can throw him the football.”

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