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.
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.