Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I thought that would definitely hurt my chances [of participating in the Rising Stars game],” Olynyk said of his sprained ankle injury. “Somehow or someone, thought I was doing a good job.”
Olynyk has been doing just that of late, tallying back-to-back double-doubles scoring and rebounding for the first time in his career.
Sullinger believes that Olynyk will not only play well, but he’ll be the game’s MVP.
“The past two games, the way he’s been playing … confidence means everything in the world in basketball,” Sullinger said. “And so the way he has been playing, I don’t see nobody stopping him down there.”
Sorry for possibly misleading headline… but who can’t contain their excitement for the Rising Stars Challenge?????
It’s actually going to be fun to see King Slender (I’M STILL TRYING TO MAKE THIS WORK, DAMMIT!) out there in an environment free of care and defense. I think a little pressure-less showcase could do the boy some good.
Despite some struggles, I doubt many people in the NBA have changed their minds from when he wowed people in Orlando. They’re going to give him more than a few months on a rebuilding team that started with Jordan Crawford at the point and included an ankle injury.
So let’s enjoy a little basketball this evening that involves a couple of Celtics. Maybe Sully will be right, and Olynyk will surprise a few people. Maybe he’ll earn a spot in a Head and Shoulders commercial next to Troy Polamalu. Or maybe he’ll just get hammered after the game, and some witch doctor will cut his hair off in an attempt to harness his power.
Hey, we can dream, right?
Related links: WEEI: Olynyk really starting to figure out the NBA | Mass Live: Olynyk showing improvement during up-and-down season
Page 2: The Celtics don’t talk about trade rumors
Anyone from Brandon Bass to Kris Humphries, or maybe both, may not make it to Los Angeles next week. The Celtics’ situation is that fluid. And in the meantime, Ainge’s team yearns to somehow get better.
“I don’t watch TV. It’s been like that my last eight years as a Celtic. There’s only two guys who have been in rumors,” Rajon Rondo said in apparent reference to Bass and Jeff Green. “It’s just part of the game. We have a pretty young team, but we don’t talk about the trades.”
Indeed, some players predictably backed away from the discussion as if it was radioactive.
“Wrong person. I’m not the GM,” said Gerald Wallace. “Wrong person. That’s the pastor or the priest you want.”
Long considered easily moved thanks to his expiring contract and value to a playoff team, Humphries said, “I don’t know. You just enjoy the break and if you get that call, you get that call. Otherwise, it’s see you Wednesday in Phoenix.”
It’s a tough price to pay for the millions of dollars and all the other perks of being an NBA player. The knowledge that at any time, or especially this time of year, you could get the dreaded “Danny wants to talk to you” tap on the shoulder and find out you suddenly live in Charlotte, North Carolina. How many of us will shake everyone’s hand tonight when we leave work like Humphries did in case we don’t see them again?
I know… boo hoo… Humph is polishing off the last few months of a contract that has paid him more than we’ll make in our lifetimes. Still, the specter of trade rumors has a distinct way of messing with your mind. And when so much of what you do requires focus and concentration, it can be a problem.
Think of it almost like a magic eye poster. To play NBA ball, you need to have a different kind of focus. Your brain has to enter a different kind of zone. That’s why the best of the best are almost always notoriously OCD, brashly confident, or complete assholes. But, like the poster, if something messes with your concentration, you lose sight of what you were trying to find.
That’s what makes trade rumors so hard to deal with for some guys. Some, like Rondo, either accept them, ignore them, or use them as fuel for F-you performances, but most guys are bothered with having to uproot their families, sell houses, or just simply move from town to f’ing town.
It can break you down.
So no, the topic of conversation around the C’s locker room most certainly will not be “so where do you think you’ll be playing next Wednesday?” Maybe a couple of guys will discuss it over cards and a joint this weekend, but that’s as far as it will go.
It’s part of the business. Players agreed to this life in exchange for the right to move to a different town in free agency. I’m not saying they should be pitied. But the pressures of this time of years simply need to be understood.
Read this Grantland piece on Jared Sullinger and Trey Burke. It’s required.
They didn’t think much of each other at first.
“When I first saw Jared, he was kinda fat,” Trey Burke said. “Like, he was big.”
“Oh man,” said Jared Sullinger. “Crying, whiny, always frustrated. He never liked to lose.”
And of course… there’s this picture…
Related links: WEEI: Sullinger has a chip on his shoulder heading into the All Star break
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Taking stock at the All Star break | Snapshot: Sully & the Stars | WEEI: Weekly draft watch: Marcus Smart’s stock slipping | Globe: Performance reviews for the Celtics | The Starters (video): Boston at the trade deadline