Celtics  point guard Rajon Rondo  is heading to Alcatraz, and it has nothing to do with his buddy Kendrick Perkins ‘ not guilty plea  to public intoxication charges. But it does have a little to do with his thieving ways.
After Red Bull donated $500 for each of his 153 steals this past season ($76,500) to refurbish 13 Boston basketball courts, Rondo’s next endeavor associated with the energy drink company is hosting the second annual Red Bull King of the Rock 1-on-1 basketball tournament, scheduled to conclude on Sept. 24.
Last year’s tourney on the prison yard marked the first official sporting event ever held on The Rock. This year, 64 qualifiers from 22 U.S. cities and 12 other countries will compete for the title. Boston native Tony Lee won the New England qualifier , earning $1,000 and a trip to Alcatraz along with runner-up Marius Bausys of Lithuania.
The 25-year-old Lee captured three state championships as an All-Scholastic performer for the Charlestown High basketball team. From there, the 6-foot, 205-pound guard played four seasons at Robert Morris University, capturing conference player of the year honors as a senior after setting career rebounds and single-season assists records for the Colonials.
Lee told SLAM  that he’s seeking a job after recently playing in Austria, and maybe his performance on The Rock will help further that cause. His interview with SLAM is pretty classic. I especially enjoyed this exchange:
Dime: Who do you compare your game to?
TL: That’s a great question. I don’t really compare my game to anyone. I do it all. I rebound. I pass. I shoot. I post up. I’m a guy that does it all. I’m a guy that doesn’t compare myself to anybody. I just compare myself to Tony Lee.
Dime: What was your mindset going into this tournament?
TL: 1000 dollars. That’s it. I was asleep when they called me but 1000 dollars was all that was on my mind when I got here.
The only thing that would’ve made that interview better would’ve been if Lee borrowed from one of cinema’s great masterpieces, “The Rock,” and yelled a line delivered by Nicolas Cage‘s character Dr. Stanley Goodspeed: “How do you like how that sh@t works!”
Red Bull and Rondo are offering fans the chance to win airfare for two, a pair of tickets to the finals on Alcatraz and a San Francisco hotel room. Details can be found here .
As always, here’s the quick rundown of what has been an extremely busy offseason for Rondo …
- July 14: Rondo hosted his annual basketball camp in his hometown of Louisville , Ky., revealing to reporters : ‘I’m still in a little bit of pain right now, but the swelling is down. The only thing is there’s swelling in my joint. I’ll be fine, it just takes time. I’ve got a couple more weeks that I’m off.’
- July 26: Rondo told Yahoo! Sports  the Celtics let the Perkins trade affect them too much.
- July 27: We discovered evidence of Rondo’s healing elbow  during his Las Vegas vacation.
- July 28: We learned Rondo will be playing in an August 15 exhibition game  against the Dominican Republic national team.
- July 29: University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari alerted us  that Rondo will enroll at the school in order to practice and help coach the team along with fellow Wildcats John Wall  and Eric Bledsoe.
- July 31: Rondo attended Patriots training camp  and shared some time with head coach Bill Belichick , nose tackle Vince Wilfork  and recently acquired wide receiver Chad Ochocinco .
- Aug. 2: Rondo and Red Bull presented Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino a check for $76,500 to upgrade the city’s basketball courts. There, he revealed to ESPN.com  that he has full range of motion in the elbow and the Celtics veterans may organize group workouts if the NBA lockout lingers.
- Aug. 13: While in Texas for Kendrick Perkins‘ summer camp, Rondo told reporters  that he set Oct. 1 as the decision deadline for whether or not he’ll play overseas during the NBA lockout. Also, Rondo was reportedly not at the club when Perkins was arrested for public intoxication .
- Aug. 15: Rondo wore No. 9 while playing for a team  of University of Kentucky alums in the first of two exhibition games against the Dominican national team. His team lost, 106-88.
- Aug. 16: Rondo played the second exhibition game, as fellow former Wildcats John Wall , Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins  all praised his leadership .
- Aug. 17: SLAM revealed an excerpt of Jackie MacMullan’s latest book, and Shaquille O’Neal  hinted that a President Barack Obama quip  might deserve some of the blame for Rondo’s late-season slump.