After being coveted as a top-5 pick months before last year’s NBA draft, Jared Sullinger ended up falling down to the 21st pick. Why? He had back issues throughout his two years at Ohio State. Few teams were willing to take a chance on him.
Fortunately enough, Sullinger fell down to the Celtics. He became a fan favorite, the team’s best fundamental rebounder and an all-around hustle player who will do the dirty work to get the team a win.
Sullinger fits right in the Celtics’ recent history of glue guys. He’s got the toughness and the grit of a Tony Allen or a Leon Powe in only his first season of playing NBA basketball. He has a chance to become a very good player in the NBA.
However, that process was put on hold in January in a game against the Sacramento Kings. Sullinger had to come out of the game with an apparent back problem. It went from being something small to something huge–Sullinger said he thought it was just spasms that he had gone through before.
Unfortunately, his back required surgery this time around. An unfortunate event, but also a task in Sullinger’s way that would fortify his resilience and make him into a better player. Here is the process chronicled by the Boston Celtics: