OFFSEASON

Snubbing Sullinger

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Snubbing Sullinger

If you thought losing Rajon Rondo was a tough blow for the Celtics, wait until you get a load of this

Jared Sullinger wasnt selected for this years Rising Stars Challenge.

OK, so maybe (maybe!) thats not quite as bad, but still . . . come on. If anyone on this year's Celtics deserves that kind of recognition, it's Sullinger. He's the highlight of Boston's season. And it's hard to believe there are nine rookies more worthy of the Rising Stars roster.

Hell, Sully should make it on physique alone.

The Widowmaker is serious All-Star material.

Then again, when you look at the guys who did make the cut, the snub is somewhat understandable. You've got Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Dion Waiters, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Alexey Shved, and Tyler Zeller. All nine are playing more minutes than Sully this season, all nine are averaging more points and the three post players on the roster (Davis, Drummond and Zeller) are all averaging more rebounds as well.

If there's one point of contention, it's Zeller. The UNC product is averaging 8.3 points and 6.2 boards over 27 minutes a night for the Cavs. Meanwhile, Sullinger averages 6.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in only 20 minutes. When you factor in Sully playing in a bigger market for a better team, I think he should have made it.

But here's the good news: He'll probably make it anyways.

I mean what would All-Star weekend be without at least a handful of players dropping out with injuries? We already saw it with Rondo, and it won't end there. Chances are that at least one of these nine rookies will turn an ankle or bang a knee over the next two and a half weeks.

Not that anyone is rooting for that to happen, but it's the nature of the game. And if the Rookies are in need of a replacement, you can bet the Sullinger will get the call.

Just in time for him and the Widowmaker to head off and make All-Star history.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

OFFSEASON

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

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Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

Veteran forward Larry Sanders, who hasn’t played since December of 2014, has taken to Twitter to get feedback on “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?”

So far, it’s his last team, the Milwaukee Bucks leading, with the Celtics edging the Cavaliers for second place.  

Sanders, 27, has been away from basketball after two drug-related suspensions and issues with anxiety and depression led him to accept a buyout from the Bucks.  The 6-11 Sanders was a solid rim protector. He averaged 1.8 blocks a game in his career. Could the Celtics, with an already crowded roster, take a flyer on him as a low-cost option? 
 

OFFSEASON

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

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Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

By Dan Feldman, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Michael Jordan might have never said “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

But that quote has defined him politically.

Whether the perception has been fair or not, he’s clearly trying to change it.

Jordan in ESPN's The Undefeated:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

You can read Jordan’s full statement here.