NBA: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

Jared Sullinger has had an up-and-down first few years in the NBA, but he’s been putting forth a strong effort for the Boston Celtics as of late – earning NBA Eastern Conference Player Of The Week honors for his play last week.

In light of Sullinger’s recent successes, Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders recently wrote a nice piece on the forward and the tough love he continues to receive from his father, Satch, and how it has helped him on and off the court.

In the article, Sullinger reveals that he got some extra motivation from watching the classic Disney animated movie ‘The Lion King:’

Without Satch around, Jared has his own ways of staying focused and remembering the basketball values his father instilled in him. Last season, Jared watched “The Lion King” (a childhood favorite) while rehabbing from his back surgery. He liked the movie’s message of overcoming challenges and drew motivation from it.

This time around he is drawing another lesson from the Disney classic, one about family. Being told he was disrespecting the Sullinger name impacted Jared. He had been taught being a Sullinger meant playing hard and respecting the game, similar qualities to wearing a Celtics uniform, he said.

Makes sense, but just how deep does Sully’s love for the film go? Well, deeper than you’d probably anticipate. Sullinger says that he has watched the movie every Celtics off day since January 29th:

Jared watched the movie prior to the January 29 game against the Philadelphia 76ers in which he broke out of a slump and posted 24 points and 17 rebounds. He estimates he has watched it in its entirety every non-game day since then.

“I think my favorite part is when Simba realizes he has to go back because he’s disrespecting his father,” Jared said. “His father pretty much laid the foundation down of who he is, and he forgot about it because he thought running away from his problems will finally erase the memories that happened. But at the end of the day, the only way to leave memories is by learning from them.”

If that estimation is correct, Sullinger has watched ‘The Lion King’ at least eight times in the last two weeks. As someone who loved the movie dearly growing up, even I think that’s a little crazy.

But, hey, it’s hard to argue with the results it’s bringing on the hardwood.

[Basketball Insiders]