WALTHAM — Jared Sullinger still holds a grudge.
On his phone, the Celtics forward said he still has remarks the media made before he was drafted in 2012 that doubted if he even should be drafted at all.
“It kind of reminds me why I’m out here, and what I need to do,” Sullinger said after practice Tuesday.
“It kind of puts fuel in the fire. I remember two years ago when everyone said I couldn’t play in the NBA —‘I was too small, I wouldn’t be able to score,’ all that stuff. I look at those guys and kind of laugh, but I still have to prove people wrong.”
Sullinger also said he isn’t down on Kansas’s Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker, even though both highly touted freshmen had poor showings in the NCAA Tournament and their teams have been knocked out.
“Honestly, there are going to be times when you have bad games, you know?” Sullinger said. “Those guys are only 18 or 19 years old. They got to understand that they have a bull’s-eye on their back when everyone wants to attack that. Everybody is trying to make a name off of you, but I think those guys will be fine though.”
Rest stop ahead
Rajon Rondo’s season will end more quickly than it typically does.
“You’re usually playing in June or late May, but obviously we’ll probably be ending April 16,” he said, referencing the date of the Celtics’ final regular-season game, which is against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden. “So I’ll get a chance to let my body recover and then have a great summer.”
Rondo said he’ll probably “take a couple weeks off from anything and just continue to let my body heal and then get back at it pretty much normal.”
Said Rondo: “I still have a ways to go to get my knee stronger. But that will come.”
With 12 games left, the Celtics don’t have much to play for, outside of pride. They can, however, play the role of spoiler.
“Definitely,” Sullinger said. “I was always on the tail end of that, being a guy that they want to beat. Being on the underdog side is definitely something I like.”
The Celtics are entering an interesting stretch, as they’ll play the Toronto Raptors twice in the next three days, then the Bulls Sunday (in Boston) and Monday (in Chicago).
The first game comes Wednesday, when the Raptors visit TD Garden. The Celtics then head to Toronto for a rematch Friday. Coach Brad Stevens said playing such a setup was akin to the playoffs.
“But hopefully we’re to the point sooner rather than later that we’re playing a lot of them that really matter,” Stevens said.
Rondo was asked if he has seen Sullinger improve this season. “No, not that much,” Rondo joked. “I tell him that every day. Just try to keep him humble and keep him on his toes.” . . . Stevens said that assistant coach Walter McCarty would do a “great job” if he were hired as the new head coach at Boston College, a position for which McCarty is being considered, according to the Boston Herald. Stevens added, “That said, I don’t know the ins and outs of that, so I don’t feel like it’s right for me to comment on it beyond that.” Boston College is looking for a replacement for Steve Donahue, who was recently fired after four seasons.