Brad Stevens challenges Jared Sullinger to get into better shape

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

First get in shape, then the rest will come.

At the end of the season, coaches like to meet with players and go over how things went during the year and what to work on over the upcoming summer.  This is called an "exit interview" but we'll get more into that next week.  It sounds like Brad Stevens was brutally honest with Jared Sullinger, primarily about his conditioning.

Jared Sullinger schooled on conditioning | Boston Herald

"It went well," Sullinger said of his exit meeting. "Coach told me what he saw. Coach told me what I could do better, and coach was really honest. Now I know what he’s looking for. Sometimes you can’t say stuff during the season. You don’t want to change what’s going on during the season. But once the season was over he came at me and told me what he wants, what he needs from me. Now is the time to change.

"He just said what he wants at the offensive and defensive end. He showed flashes of telling me that during the season, but not like he did during the exit interviews. Once my conditioning comes into (form), everything else will follow suit."

This shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone part of the team.  Sullinger was a bright spot on the team but was limited by his conditioning.  I'm not sure if coach wants him to slim down or bulk up or what.  But at a minimum, he needs to be able to run and jump for 40-plus minutes without seeing a sharp downturn in his productivity on the court.

Nobody is blaming him necessarily for being out of shape. He was hurt coming into the season and never had a chance to go through an offseason program last year.  He'll get that chance this year and it could mean the difference between showing flashes of potential and becoming a legit star in this league.

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