BOSTON -- Jared Sullinger's allegiance is to the Boston Celtics. When it comes to football, though, his loyalties go beyond New England.
The Celtics forward was on hand Sunday at Gillette Stadium for the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans, but he wasn't rooting for the home team.
Sullinger is close friends with Texans wide receiver DeVier Posey from their college days at Ohio State and let it be known on Twitter.
Congrats to my boy @dpo8 on his first touchdown......
Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) January 14, 2013
"I was cheering for him, I'm not going to lie," Sullinger told CSNNE.com. "It's been four years since I've known him. We have the same mental mindset of the grind -- that's what we call it -- of how much we need to better ourselves on and off the court."
Sullinger's enjoyment watching his friend play came to a sudden end, however. Posey tore his left Achilles tendon with just over six minutes to play.
"I knew how bad it was since he couldn't stand on his own two feet," said Sullinger.
Sullinger stayed at the stadium following the Patriots win to see Posey. He offered words of encouragement, telling Posey to keep his head up. They spoke again on Monday morning.
"I talked to him to check up and see how he felt," said Sullinger. "He's a little sore but he has a good positive view on everything. So it looks like he's going to come back stronger than ever."
Sullinger said he will be cheering for the Patriots in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens.
BOSTON – Before Brad Stevens addressed the media before the Celtics faced the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon, he had to take a moment to make sure he wouldn’t forget anyone who wasn’t able to play.
Yeah, the list was a pretty long one.
Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson and Jonas Jerebko will not play tonight due to sickness. And Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will also be out with a timetable that’s starting to feel like it’ll be longer than anyone would want.
“I don’t anticipate Avery this week at all,” Stevens said. “He still has some soreness. Obviously we’re concerned about the long-term impact of a sore Achilles; what it means on that foot but also what it means when you compensate off it. But he’ll be back when he’s ready but I think he’s still a little bit away.”
Bradley, the team’s top on-the-ball defender and No. 2 scorer this season at 17.7 points per game, will be out for the sixth time in the Celtics’ last seven games because of the Achilles injury.
Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Marcus Smart whose status for tonight’s game wasn’t a sure thing.
On the Celtics’ pregame notes package, Smart was listed as probable with a sore right ankle injury. I asked Stevens about Smart’s status a few minutes ago, and he said the 6-foot-4 Smart will play tonight.
In his 15 starts this season, Smart has averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent on 3's - all of which are better than what he produces when coming off the bench.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.
The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.
But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.
“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.
“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”
He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.
He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.
But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.
“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”