Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jared Sullinger says Celtics refusing to accept idea of tanking

(Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger has a message for anyone speculating that the Celtics could purposefully use next year as a rebuilding season. The 21-year-old voiced his response in an interview with HOOPSWORLD and said the storied franchise has no intentions of tanking in order to gain a high pick for the 2014 NBA Draft.

“You got to understand, with you being a Celtic you have Celtic pride,” Celtics second-year power forward Jared Sullinger said to HOOPSWORLD. “With Celtic pride we don’t tank. You have to bleed green or else you might as well get out of town.”

“We just have to play basketball, play hard and handle our business,” Sullinger said. “That’s it. Everyone is counting us out, talking about how we might tank. We’re competitors, we don’t care about that. We just want to win basketball games.

“[Me and Coach Stevens] talked.  He told me his expectations, what he wants from me and the team. He’s a great guy. Also, with where he came from at Butler, raising that program to a Top 25 team the past couple of years, it’s only a matter of time [until we see] what he can do with us.”

There is no denying that Boston will look like a much different team next season. Longtime stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are gone after the Celtics agreed to trade the duo to Brooklyn. Thus, leaving point guard Rajon Rondo as the team's lone long-tenured player.

The man tasked with revitalizing the Celtics is former Butler Bulldogs head coach Brad Stevens. The 36-year-old took Butler to two national championship games during his tenure at the school and surely has his work cut out for him in Boston.

Via Sports Illustrated

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