Brandon Bass embraced the starting role, but he didn't want to receive it because of a someone else's misfortune.
Bass was moved back into the starting lineup after rookie Jared Sullinger underwent season-endinglumbar disc (back) surgeryon Friday. Sullinger had replaced Bass in the starting power forward spot the previous two contests, including Wednesday when he left the game with back spasms.
This isn't how Bass wanted to return to the starting lineup, though. He wanted to earn it.
"I don't want somebody going down to be the reason for something," he told CSNNE.com. "I just want to continue to build on what I'm doing."
Bass is averaging 7.5 point and 4.8 rebounds this season. He says the entire team will have to step up to fill the void Sullinger left behind, especially on the glass. The 20 year old was averaging 6.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, and was one of the Celtics most aggressive rebounders.
"Sully hit the boards hard," said Bass. "The past three weeks, he started to be a game changer as far as rebounding. That's what we'll miss, that's where everybody will have to continue to improve as far as being on the glass."
Now the Celtics are left to play through the absence of two of teammates. Rajon Rondo suffered a season-ending ACL injury last week.
"You want everybody to be healthy," said Bass. "So I just wish him (Sullinger) and Rondo a speedy recovery."
As rumors swirl in this post-draft, pre-free agency week for the NBA, Adam Kaufman of 98.5 The Sports Hub reported Friday that the Celtics could land long-rumored target Gordon Hayward AND trade for Paul George. And Kaufman says George would be more than just a one-year rental.
Kaufman elaborated on a possible George deal on his "Celtics @ 7" show Saturday. He said the trade with the Indiana Pacers wouldn't cost Boston next year's Brooklyn pick, rather it would be the first-round pick (Lakers 2018 or Kings 2010) acquired this week from the Philadelphia 76ers when Boston traded down the No. 1 for No. 3, along with Jae Crowder and another salary filler.
Before you run out and buy that No. 13 Celtics Paul George jersey, Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com explains how financially disadvantageous it would be for George - long thought to want to head to the Lakers - to do this.
Danny Ainge made no secret of being miffed when Kansas small forward Josh Jackson canceled his workout with the Celtics in Sacramento at the last minute.
The Celtics, of course, passed on Jackson and selected Jayson Tatum of Duke with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.
Suns GM Ryan McDonough's comments at Jackson's introductory press conference lend some credence to the theory that the canceled workout was part of Phoenix's plan to keep the Celtics from selecting Jackson and leave him for the Suns at No. 4.
Check out this portion of Jackson's presser via a tweet from Mike McClune of KPHO-TV:
"I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition," said McDonough, a former assistant GM to Ainge with the C's "The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. [Armstrong, Jackson's agent] and I and...other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.
"We played by the rules – I guess,” McDonough said to some laughter in the room.
Jackson will certainly get more playing time with the rebuilding Suns that the contending Celtics. Ainge called Jackson "a terrific kid and a good player” after the draft, and said the Celtics were set on Tatum all along, even if they hadn't traded the No. 1 pick.
Jackson said his decision to blow off Ainge coach Brad Stevens and assistant GM Mike Zarren after their cross-country flight was "last-minute" and his plans to work out "just didn't work out."