Morning sports update: Jared Sullinger admits he really messed up his NBA career

"I was still a kid, and I really f***** it up."

Jared Sullinger
Former Celtics forward Jared Sullinger in 2017. –Via Jared Sullinger

Rick Porcello struck out six and gave up six hits over six scoreless innings as the Red Sox beat the Orioles 5-3 on Monday night. Mitch Moreland homered and Andrew Benintendi drove in two runs for the AL East leaders.

Jared Sullinger admits he really messed up his NBA career

Jared Sullinger wants the chance to re-write his story. Two years after conditioning issues and injuries cut short his Celtics tenure, the 26-year-old is searching for an opportunity to resurrect his basketball career — “whether it’s here, there or on the moon, I’m there.”

Sullinger, Boston’s first-round pick in 2012, averaged 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds in four years as a Celtic. However, he struggled to manage his weight and dealt with multiple stress fractures. In an interview with The Athletic’s Bob Baptist, the forward acknowledged those injuries were probably caused by the extra weight he was carrying.

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“I was young and I got tired of people telling me what to do,” Sullinger said of his years in Boston. “I was trying to be a man and, in reality, I was still a boy. I was living on my own and paying my bills and buying my own food and buying my own clothes and I had a lot of money… So again, it’s on me. I look back on it now and say, ‘What the f*** was I thinking?’”

The Celtics renounced their rights to Sullinger in July 2016, making him an unrestricted free agent as they freed up space to sign Al Horford. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge wished Sullinger well, and coach Brad Stevens said he hoped the move would benefit both parties.

Since then, the former Ohio State star has played for the Toronto Raptors, the Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association, and a made-for-TV tournament with a $2 million prize. He’s currently checking in at 282 pounds and recognized that number would need to drop if he wants another shot at the top level.

“But sometimes your body just doesn’t allow it,” Sullinger told Baptist. “You might not play as well [weighing less]. At the same time, I’m trying. Two-eighty-two is not a goal weight. But it’s a weight, and right now it’s working for me, and the further I go, the better.”

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For now, inconsistency and injuries are still the story of his career. Sullinger noted he put that stigma on himself, and it will be up to him to remove it.

“I wasn’t an NBA basketball player when I left the gym,” he said. “I was still a kid, and I really f***** it up.”

10 takeaways from Bleacher Report’s wide-ranging interview with Jimmy Garoppolo: Tom Brady’s former backup discussed his relationship with No. 12, his experience with Bill Belichick, and his near car crash on the way to the airport after the Patriots traded him to San Francisco. (Boston.com)

Celtics end up trading Abdel Nader to Thunder in cost-saving move: The Celtics traded the forward and cash considerations to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guard Rodney Purvis on Monday. Nader’s full $1.4 million salary would have been guaranteed if he was still on the roster on Aug. 1. (Boston.com)

Catching up with old friends: Rob Ninkovich: Last season, Ninkovich was changing diapers instead charging quarterbacks. The former Patriot, who retired in July 2017, said he’s happy with his decision to walk away from football.

“I definitely had my moments where I was like, ‘I could still do that,’ but I also would go to a game and be like, ‘I’m good. I’m already did that,’” he said. (Boston.com)

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