Jared Sullinger gets inspiration from 'The Lion King'
FEB 13, 2014 12:10a ET
Jared Sullinger had six consecutive double-doubles from Jan. 29 to Feb. 10 and was named the NBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Week along the way. To what does the second-year Boston Celtic owe his success?
A combination of tough love and hakuna matata.
Yes, that's right -- "Lion King" lessons have been key to the Columbus native's success.
The former Ohio State All-American told BasketballInsiders.com he watched the classic Disney animated movie "The Lion King" before notching 24 points and 17 rebounds against Philadelphia on Jan. 29. It's stayed in the rotation ever since.
Why? To drive home a harsh message he got from his father, Satch, who he says "cussed me out" in late January for what the longtime high school coach called disgracing the family name.
"I was kind of in shock," Jared Sullinger said. "He was telling me my body language sucks, my attitude sucks, I'm disrespecting the Sullinger name the way I'm acting on and off the court, and when he says off the court he means on the bench."
It took some time, but the message eventually sunk in, meaning Sullinger could go home to Columbus. And that's where the movie came in.
"My favorite part is when Simba realizes he has to go back because he's disrespecting his father," Sullinger 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."