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Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: ‘If [Rajon] Rondo had a do-over, he would’ve gotten on the plane’ to Sacramento 02.28.14 at 11:16 am ET
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Jeff Van Gundy

Jeff Van Gundy

ESPN/ABC basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to discuss Rajon Rondo and other Celtics news. To hear the interview, head to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Last weekend Rondo made the decision not to travel with the Celtics to the team’€™s game in Sacramento — a game he was not scheduled to play — reportedly so that he could celebrate his birthday with family and friends in Los Angeles.

“I think if Rondo had a do-over, he would’ve gotten on the plane, because your best player has to set the example,” Van Gundy said.

“I can understand wanting to have a birthday celebration in L.A. versus in Sacramento, but when you’€™re the best player, you’€™re charged with setting an example that everyone should follow, and one of those things is sacrificing what you want to do for what you should do, and I don’€™t think there’s one argument that could be made that a guy who’s traveling with the team should miss a game to blow out birthday candles.”

Despite Rondo’s decision, Van Gundy says the four-time All Star has the ideal “Boston fan mentality.”

“A guy’s greatest strength is often his greatest weakness,” Van Gundy said. “What I love about Rondo is his surly, competitive, nasty streak. I love that about him. Now, does that go the other way at times where he may go over the line? Maybe. But it’s hard to find guys in today’s NBA — everybody knows what to say now. Everybody is so polished media-wise.

“To me, Rondo, and every player, has times where he would like to handle situation X a little bit differently, but for the most part, I think his attitude is absolutely the type that you need to win.”

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