|Rondo: ‘I’m thankful for what I’m signing for’||11.02.09 at 2:22 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Rajon Rondo acknowledged for the first time following Monday’s practice that he has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Celtics. The deal is worth a reported $55 million.
“I’m thankful for what I’m signing for,” Rondo said.
[To hear Rondo answer questions about his new deal, click here.]
[For audio of Doc Rivers' reaction and what it means to Celtics, click here.]
The deal between Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy and the team has yet to be finalized but Rondo acknowledged it’s a formality.
The team made Rondo available following Monday’s practice as the team will fly to Philadelphia for Tuesday’s game against the 76ers.
“Nothing changes,” Rondo added. “Still have one goal in mind. It’s great to have security but we’re still focused on winning a championship.
“No, it’s not, necessarily, happiness is. I couldn’t deal without my teammates,” Rondo said. “I’ve had great teammates for the past four years. When it’s all said and done, we’re still going to have relationships on the court, regardless of whatever certain guys make. The relationships you build with one another in the NBA, you can’t compare it to money.”
Rondo also added that he’s grateful that his young daughter will be taken care of.
“That’s the biggest thing for me, take care of my family,” Rondo said. “I’m very excited. My daughter doesn’t have to work. She doesn’t have to work at all. I have the right people around me so I don’t plan on losing it. So, I’m just very blessed in the situation.”
Rondo said the confidence of Celtics management in him help make Monday’s deal a reality.
“Wyc [Grousbeck] and Danny [Ainge] and Doc [Rivers] all have confidence in me, and that says a lot. They want me here, obviously, for a long time and I’m just glad to be here,” Rondo said.
The discussions picked up in earnest just before the season began as the restricted free agent negotiating deadline approached, and eventually was extended to Monday.
“I think the time we started to negotiate it was time for tip-off of the regular season in Cleveland,” Rondo said. “Maybe a day before, they offered during the Cleveland game but I had to focus. It was the start of the season. I had had four games already and didn’t have much time to stress about it because I had to focus on winning games.
“I talked to Danny a couple of times, maybe three or four times throughout the last month and they were long conversations,” Rondo said. “I don’t want to go in-depth on what we talked about but we were in the office about an hour each time, going back and forth, expressing feelings and thoughts about the situation.”
In the end, Rondo said he may have left some money on the table in avoiding restricted free agency but he also said he wants to stay in a winning environment.
“You could say that,” Rondo said of possibly leaving money on the negotiating table. “I don’t want to be greedy. I’m thankful for what I’m signing for. There’s a lot of other things you can put into consideration, with my teammates, the amount of money they make, cap room, I don’t need to take the whole thing. We need to continue to get great players in here and that’s what they’ll do. I don’t want to take all the money, even if I think I deserve it. At times, you have to sacrifice and at times it’s about the team.”
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