This is not hyperbole right now. I’m not sure Ohio State has had a player with higher character than Jared Sullinger since Thad Matta took over. First round draft picks rarely need sympathy, nor to be hyped up, and it’s tough to feel bad for a guy who is about to be very rich playing the game he loves.
Never the less, things keep going bad for Sullinger. The latest comes from ESPN’s Andy Katz who reported that the NBA did not invite Sullinger to the NBA Draft Green Room. The distinct priviledge, normally reserved for the top 10-15 prospects, was once an inevitability for Sullinger. However, after the crushing blow of having doctors red flag him for his back issues, Sullinger’s stock has been in a free fall.
Surely being in the green room, while not the most important thing in the world, was a long time dream of Sullinger’s. Now that dream will never be realized, as he will be stuck on the outside looking in. Sullinger, who made the decision to return for his sophomore year rather than face an NBA lockout, was a likely top 5 pick last year. The decision to come back likely cost Sullinger at least 10 draft slots and millions of dollars over the lifetime of his rookie contract. Hopefully the experience and lessons learned from the extra year of seasoning will allow Sullinger to eventually make up the difference. Because, really, this could not have happened to a nicer guy who deserves it less.