Sullinger remains humble amid early success


Sullinger remains humble amid early success

WALTHAM, Ma. - The praise has been coming in almost daily for Boston Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger.

Players love his ability to finish around the basket. C's coach Doc Rivers loves his high basketball IQ. Fans love the fact that he rebounds.

All that gushing is enough to make the most level-headed rookie become more like a walking bobble head.

"I'm definitely a rookie," Sullinger said. "I have a lot to learn around here."

Although he has fared well thus far, his first real test will come on Tuesday when the Celtics open at Miami.

Sullinger will likely come off the bench in the season opener, an unusual starting point for the 20-year-old.

"It's different," he said. "Coming from being the man, the go-to guy all these years and now coming here and taking a backseat to some greats, it's a humbling experience. At the same time, I have to get better."

Experience will certainly benefit Sullinger moving forward.

In the meantime, Sullinger will manage to get by with his basketball smarts and a knack for creating space both as a scorer and as a rebounder.

"The best thing about me is using my body. That's my rear end," Sullinger said. "That's what my momma gave me. I was blessed with a healthy mom."

As well as a healthy appetite for success dating back to his days as an AAU star in Ohio.

C's coach Doc Rivers recalls his son Austin's AAU team facing the "Ohio Red" AAU Team which was led by Sullinger.

Rivers recalls seeing Sullinger exposed to an assortment of defensive strategies by opponents, most of which he was able to master his way out of or find a teammate who could be effective.

"He's been trapped his entire life, so he knows coverages, he knows how to use his body," Rivers said. "He is well ahead of the game as far as using his body, playing through double teams. He's just a smart basketball player."

Smart enough to avoid the temptation of trying to do more than the C's need from now.

"I'm an unselfish basketball player, so there's no temptation," Sullinger said. "The main goal for me is to win. I love to win. That's what I pride myself on, is winning."

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after watching the Boston Celtics take a hard pass on the Boogie. 
-- Bob McKenzie sits in with the good folks at TSN 1200 Ottawa sports radio and talks a little Claude Julien of the Montreal Canadiens

-- The Avalanche youth movement is set to begin as quickly as March 1, as Colorado may move some of its veteran players at the trade deadline. 
-- Ryan Johansen got snubbed in his return to Columbus for the first time as a member of the Nashville Predators. That’s too bad, but it’s also not exactly Wayne Gretzky returning to the Edmonton Oilers for the first time. 
-- The price tag for Kevin Shattenkirk is in and it includes a top prospect and a first-round pick, along with another piece, for a rental defenseman. That should be far too rich for the Bruins’ blood. The B's were already intent on avoiding the rental market ahead of the trade deadline, and the steep price -- even for a potentially useful short-term acquisition like the puck-moving Shattenkirk -- should make that even more of a certainty. 
-- Ken Campbell asks whether hockey agents have gone too far in chasing after prospective prospects before they even enter their teenage years. 

 -- Bobby Ryan has a hand injury that’s going to sideline him, another piece of bad luck for the Senators forward. 
-- For something completely different: On President’s Day, it seems only natural to go through the favorite Presidents in the history of the Marvel Universe.

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

The Patriots obviously got it right when they pushed away from the table during the Darrelle Revis bidding war in 2015. 

The once-great corner spent the 2016 season languishing on the field. He’s spending the early part of the offseason reacting negatively to backpack journalism after midnight. 


But the alleged double KO by Revis and his buddies isn’t what prompts this submission. 

It’s the revelation from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that the tampering the Jets engaged in when they were prying Revis loose from the Patriots was way, way more involved than what the NFL fined them for. And that Jets owner Woody Johnson knew all about it. 

Mehta leads his piece revealing that, long before free agency opened in 2015, Revis “was ready to squeeze more money out of [Johnson] who he knew would be willing to overpay for his services again.”

Mehta reports that, “back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion . . . 

“Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team's landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.

“Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.”

The Patriots -- who were in the midst of the Deflategate colonoscopy that resulted in absurd-level discipline -- lodged a complaint with the league over the Jets tampering after Revis signed with the Jets in mid-March of 2015. 

The Jets were fined $100,000 but weren’t docked any draft picks.. The tender wrist slap came, ostensibly, because Johnson moronically stated at a December press conference that he’d “love” to have Revis return to New York. 

Maybe Johnson wasn’t being a dummy. That comment provided cover for the league office -- which has a documented history of treating the two NYC franchises with kid gloves -- to let the Jets off easy. 

Mehta’s article is the latest offering from him since completing his heel turn against Revis. 

Mehta did everything but fly the plane to bring Revis to New York once the 2014 season ended. And this is what he wrote the day the Jets penalty came down: 

The NFL’s attempt to uncover any dirt was an exercise in futility, a witch hunt driven by nonsense from a hypocritical organization with no reason to feel threatened by its competitor. 

You may wonder what’s the point? 

Clearly, the Patriots got it right while the Jets cheated, got what they wanted, and are now getting what they deserved. 

And everyone already knows the league office’s investigations and operations arms under the brutally incompetent leadership of Troy Vincent are a laughingstock. 

All true. But if I don’t write this now, I may have no recollection of this particular instance of league corruption given the absolute avalanche of other incidents