Celtics players are thankful for a lot

Celtics players are thankful for a lot
November 28, 2013, 10:00 am
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Having heart surgery changed Jeff Green's perspective on life beyond basketball.

(AP Photo)


BOSTON — A number of Celtics players are celebrating Thanksgiving today and, like so many of us, have plenty to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name the holiday, and you better believe that Jeff Green is happy to be celebrating it.

Green underwent season-ending heart surgery before the 2011-2012 season that helped put his life, as well as basketball, in the proper perspective.

While the surgery ended his season, it served as a new beginning for him which he doesn't hesitate to tell anyone who'll listen, he's thankful for.

That's why when asked about what he's thankful for on this day, four letters come to mind immediately -- L-I-F-E.

"Everyday I'm thankful for that," he said. "Everything I have can come and go. But I'm waking up every day, smiling."

Celtics forward Jared Sullinger has had an eventful year, to say the least.

He underwent season-ending back surgery in February, which was supposed to fix bulging discs in his lower back.

Several months of rehabilitation has Sullinger not only looking better, but playing at a level few would have envisioned from him so quickly.

While he rehabbed this summer, he told CSNNE.com that he would come back even better than before.

He was right.

Still, the time recovering from his back injury, along with a domestic violence charge this summer that was later dropped, have made him more appreciative of what he has and how quickly it can taken away.

That point has become even more emphatic with players, such as Memphis' Marc Gasol (MCL sprain, out for about a month) and Chicago's Derrick Rose (torn meniscus), sustaining injuries.

Gasol will likely be out for a few weeks, but Rose's injury will keep him out for the rest of this season - the second time he has had an injury that will keep him out for an extended period of time.

"This game has done so much for so many people," Sullinger said. "To see somebody like Derrick Rose and Marc Gasol get hurt they way they did, is really tough. You just have to be thankful. I've seen Derrick Rose get hurt. I've seen Gasol get hurt. It made me more thankful that my back is OK and that I'm still able to play the game that I love. I'm just thanking the man upstairs for all the blessings he gave me."

Celtics guard Jordan Crawford shares a similar sentiment.

And while he has had his share of ups and downs on the basketball court, Crawford is thankful for the opportunity he is now getting to play significant minutes.

But he is most thankful for what truly matters at the end of the day - family.

"I'm thankful for being raised in Detroit with two parents that are together," he told CSNNE.com. "It's rare. I'm thankful for a lot."