Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson is determined to live up to the diminutive Argentine by being "the best little guy in basketball"
Robinson, 29, recently joined the Denver Nuggets after leaving Chicago Bulls, but his preferred No.2 shirt is retired at his new side in honour of legendary player Alex English.
Robinson will take Messi's Barcelona number for the coming campaign, claiming his goal is to become "the best little guy in the NBA" just as the diminutive attacker has established himself at the pinnacle of world football.
"I usually dig the single digit numbers, but No.2 is retired," he told Denver Stiffs. "I'm going to change it up and wear No.10. I'm going to wear it for Messi, that's my favourite football player.
"I've been playing a lot of Fifa lately and watching the games. He's the best little guy to do it and I've got to be the best little guy to do it at No.10 in the NBA. That's my goal."
Messi is currently with the Barcelona squad preparing for Tuesday's friendly with Lechia Gdansk.