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Meet The Rookies: Celtics Introduce Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph


CelticsHub was live on the scene today in Allston as the C’s introduced their newest three members of the frontcourt in Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, and Kris Joseph. Here are some quotes from each of the guys as well as some initial impressions about each of the players’ personalities.

Jared Sullinger

Sullinger will wear no. 7….I guess the C’s won’t be saving that jersey number to re-sign J.O!

On His Back Problems: “Honestly, I don’t have any back problems, but it is what it is. I’m just playing basketball now. I finally have a job, and now it’s time to take the next step and get ready to play.”

On Dropping to the Celtics at #21: ”I think it’s a blessing in disguise, honestly. If you consider me landing to the Boston Celtics a drop, then I’d do it all over again, without a hesitation. I mean, honestly, it’s been like that all my life. When I was younger, everybody said I was too big. Going into high school, they said I wouldn’t be able to play that fast, going into college, I wouldn’t be able to keep up. It’s just the way I live my life, obviously, so I’m just ready to get started.”

His Offense in the College/NBA: ”I really had to go with what the defense gave me [in college] by forcing me to the double-team a lot. Pretty much all I had was back-to-the-basket because there really was no place for me to move. I can shoot the outside shot, I can face up.”

CH’s Overall Impressions of Sullinger: I think Celtics fans are really going to like this guy a lot. Much like Paul Pierce, he dominated in college and fell far beyond what he could even imagine in the NBA draft, due to factors beyond his control. He’s humble, he knows he will get an opportunity here, and he sounds incredibly motivated. A lot to be optimistic about with this guy both short and long term and given he’s been a winner everywhere he has been in his career, he should have no problem buying into a team-first mentality.

Funny press conference moment: Sullinger was asked to introduce his family representatives in attendance and announced his mother, father and girlfriend, who all waved to the crowd. Danny Ainge pointed out he forgot to mention David Falk, Sullinger’s agent who was in attendance. Sullinger comicially said he forgot and mentioned him. A good sign for the C’s as far as where his priorities lie.

Fab Melo (Wearing No. 13. He wasn’t allowed to pick No. 51 at this point, a good sign C’s are holding it for Dooling)

On How He Can Help C’s Win: ”One thing I want to do is just help the team win. I think I’m good at doing what coach wants me to do, if it’s run the floor, or get rebounds, play defense. That’s the thing I came here to do, and whatever he wants me to do, I’ll be willing to do.”

On Learning from Kevin Garnett: ”I want to learn from him. He’s an energy guy. I have a lot of energy for the game, too. So, with my passion and his passion for the game, I think we’re going to do great things.”

On His Defense and How He’ll Respond to Coaching: ”I’m a very coachable guy. I think if they show me what to do, I will do it. I think my reaction is pretty good. I can protect the basket. I’m not worried about that. Just show me how to do it and I will do it.”

Funny Melo moment of the day: Ainge was in a good mood for most of the morning and it showed during Melo’s introduction again as the center pointed out his mother from Brazil as well as his business advisor in attendance with him.

Quickly after that, Ainge chimed in about the business advisor “Is that your academic advisor too?” to a mix of laughs and shock from the crowd at hand, before emphasizing it was just a joke to lightened up the crowd. Melo took it well, but you would think Ainge would at least have Melo signed to a contract officially and on the floor before he started taking shots at him. Like I said, Ainge was in a good mood.

Overall Impressions of Melo: Definitely a happy go-lucky guy that has a lot of learning to do. He seems eager and positive though, so if he can take the punishment from KG and Doc and get things right in practice, he’ll get a chance out there because of his defensive abilities.

Kris Joseph (Wearing No. 43)

Overall impressions: In my opinion, he was the highlight of this press conference. Extremely well-spoken and sharp, he took all the attention the other guys got in stride and spoke candidly about his position with his team, learning from Paul Pierce, and getting picked in the second round.

I asked Kris about adjusting the man-to-man defense again after playing 2-3 zone and he responded with this gem to many laughs:

“Just like everything else at this level, it’s going to be an adjustment for us to make. The zone did have man-to-man principles, but I definitely played man in my lifetime, you know what I mean? (laughs) So, I know the basics. I know help side, I know denying the ball. I’m going to have to learn, but once again, I’m going to have to learn about a lot of things at this level, so I’m willing to take that step.”

I think we’re going to like all of these guys. Joseph is no lock to make the roster, but he has a good head on his shoulders and that can only help.

Expect to see all three in action when the C’s begin their first summer league next week in Orlando.

  • Anthony

    Don't want to jinx anything but I'm totally sold on the Sullinger pick now. Think he will be a big contributor this season.

  • SteveB

    As a long time Syracuse fan I hope Joseph lives up to his potential. He reminds you a bit of Jeff Green in that he looks smooth with good skills but sometimes just disappears. He needs some of the KG killer instinct and he could be a lot better than Sasha and the like. He should help with any issues Fab Melo has in life in the NBA if Fab is willing to work and learn.

  • skeeds

    Melo is like a gift to KG for coming back. Ainge and Doc stressed the fact that they wanted him to stay a Celtic, to pass on his knowledge and spirit to the new generation. What better way to thank him than giving him a brand new, rough 7ft kid to teach?
    Apparently KG already called Melo to welcome him and inform him that he owns his ass…
    So, either Melo will become a great physical defender, or KG will rip his head off. I like our chances with this kid.

  • srb

    So was that Brian Robb who also took the blurry picture of the back of Sherrod's (I think?) shiny head?

    I know it's essentially a PR press conference but I like what all three of them had to say. Optimism in bunches the last few days over here.

  • -JP

    I really like Sullinger and thought it was a great pick on draft day. Hearing him say that there is no pain is a really good sign. I think the personalities of these guys can help with team chemistry too. None of them will really be looking to get theirs, and hopefully they will take advantage and learn as much as possible from the current vets we have.

  • lakershater13

    Really hoping these 2 rooks pan out. I also hope for a decent splash in free agency. Our division could be competitive.
    If the Nets resign Lopez and Williams while also bring in Teletovic( PF averaged 21pts a game in Euroleague) and Joe Johnson they could be good.
    While I think Johnson is over paid and not a first option I think he would be terrific with Lopez and Williams being the 1st and 2nd options.
    A starting 5 with Williams, JJ, Wallace, Teletovic, and Lopez with Brooks and Green off the bench. That would give them a solid starting 5 with 2 players who can really score coming off the bench.
    I do still like the Celtics better I think the Nets can certainly compete with us. Celtics need to bring in a couple capable guys off the bench. The rookies we dont know what they can do yet. Hopefully Cs can bring in Mayo and Hickson while resigning Green and Allen.

  • ElRoz

    It would be great if as Celtic players, J. Johnson, E. Moore, Sullinger, and Melo would grow to be able to play at the level of say A. Bradley so they could all play with Rondo.

  • I_Love_Green

    I really really like Sullinger. Did a complete 180 with this guy. Fab and the other guy, not so much, but Sully is a baller.

    If we don't bring Bass back, or if Johnson doesn't improve enough, Sully could be getting some nice minutes his first year.

  • Lakershater13

    In 2006 the Atlanta Hawks drafted a guy who was 6-9 250lbs. He was coming off an 18.8 pts and 10.7 rb a game season in college. He was a first team all American. Hawks took him 5th overall in the 2006 draft. This guy has been a 4.5 pts and 4.3 rb a game guy his career so far. Oh and the Celtics signed him a couple years ago. Sheldon Williams ladies and gentlemen. Lets hope Sully isnt the next Sheldon.

    I hope it wasnt a mistake passing on guys like Moultre, Perry Jones, and even Quincy Miller or Draymond Green.

  • Kafel

    I really hope that Celtics aren't interested in Camby… They should try get Chris Kaman and if he wants too much money than Spencer Hawes would be nice addition in my opinion and not too much expensive. And with all my respect and everything to Bass I think that instead of him Boston should take a shot at Ersan Ilyasova who can shot and REBOUND and still has room to grow. I hope that management will do it right and add some nice pieces that will made Celtics a real contender.

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