Jared Sullinger is only 21 years old, and has certainly played through his share of injuries so far this season. The second-year forward has dealt with a dislocated right finger and a bone bruise in his left hand, yet is still being looked upon by head coach Brad Stevens to become a more mature basketball player for the Boston Celtics.
"My talking point with his was, 'I know you're , but you're a mature basketball player, you know the game, and, for our team to grow, we need for you to maybe play and be a few years ahead of where you are," Stevens said.
Sullinger responded to Stevens' challenge by posting a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds in Sunday's win over the Orlando Magic.
Sullinger's high school coach and father Satch Sullinger paid the former Ohio State star a visit over the weekend, sitting in on Boston's practice Saturday and sitting courtside for Sullinger's big game on Super Bowl Sunday.
He didn't come just to watch, though. The elder Sullinger, rather, came with a word of advice or two for his son.
"He was pretty much just telling me, he said my body language [stunk] and my attitude [stunk]," Sullinger said. "And he said, that's not what got you here, and he pretty much tried to whoop me back to shape..."
It seems, temporarily at least, that the pep talk from Sullinger's father and the challenge from Brad Stevens worked.