|Someone finally summed up Rajon Rondo perfectly||10.23.13 at 1:15 pm ET|
This quote, courtesy of Celtics coach Brad Stevens, is the best anyone has ever described Rajon Rondo.
“I knew from the first moment that I talked to him that he was going to be a person that would think not just about what you’re doing but why you’re doing it, and that’s a good thing,” Stevens told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in their SportsCenter conversation. “This is a great example. When you run a play, there are five guys in five spots, and most basketball players will go to their spot, they’ll do what they’re supposed to do, but they won’t know what the other four spots do, because they don’t understand why you’re doing it. He gets it all, and it’s no different in leading. It’s no different in how we’re coaching or running the organization. He understands the big picture, and I think it’s really important that we continue to share and talk about that, because he’s a big part of this.”
And let’s just say Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge looks at Rondo from a different angle.
“It’s hard to find the perfect situation for everybody,” he told CBSSports.com columnist Ken Berger. “It’s my job to build the Celtics, and Rondo is a big part of that. Will everything be as perfect as he would like it? I don’t believe so, but it’s not perfect for us, either, the fact that he can’t play. I think Rondo is with us. I think he likes a lot of the core guys on our team now, and I think he is optimistic and looking forward to a new chapter.”
Not everyone can capture the enigmatic point guard in words. Actually, nobody quite has. Stevens came closest.
|NBA GMs: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce trade a good idea||10.22.13 at 3:03 pm ET|
For the 12th straight preseason, the NBA surveyed all 30 general managers. Here are the Celtics-related results.
- While the Celtics-Nets trade tied with Golden State’s sign-and-trade acquisition of Andre Iguodala as the most surprising summer story lines, the C’s were among six teams receiving votes for “best overall moves.”
- A quarter of responding GMs believe Kelly Olynyk is the draft’s biggest steal — ahead of Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, Steven Adams, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trey Burke. Likewise, 6.7 percent of the respondents think the Celtics rookie will be the draft’s best player in 2018. Only Victor Oladipo (40.0%), Cody Zeller (13.3%), Anthony Bennett (10.0%) and McLemore (10.0%) received more votes.
- Based on the GM votes, Avery Bradley, Kawhi Leonard and Iguodala are tied for the league’s fourth-best perimeter defense, trailing only Tony Allen, LeBron James and Paul George.
- Voters slot Rajon Rondo and Ricky Rubio second behind Chris Paul on the “best passer” scale. Paul also has the game’s best IQ, per votes, ahead of Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Rondo.
Also, consider former Celtics center Robert Parish among fans of trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
“I thought they made a great move because Garnett and Pierce only have another year or two of premium basketball left,” he told the Boston Herald. “[Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] just pulled the plug while they still had something. It was inevitable. And, besides, I like the fact that when he moved them, he sent them to a contender. I really like that. Granted, they’re in the same division, but still I really like that it showed how he felt about Paul and Garnett. I like that.
“As a player, you’re thinking, if you’re going to move me, at least send me somewhere where I can win a championship.”
|Rajon Rondo, a Chinese reporter and a shoe||10.11.13 at 4:39 pm ET|
A Chinese reporter interviewed Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo while he sat in a chair with his new Rondo 1 shoe from Anta on his lap. My favorite part is when some dude stops her from asking any more questions about his knee. Well, that and all of Rondo’s humor getting lost in translation. Here are some other highlights. Enjoy.
Let us know the latest update on your knee injury.
“I’m right on schedule. I will return this year, and I’m taking one day, one week at a time.”
How long do you anticipate until you’re back on the court?
“Well, I’m on the court now. As far as playing, I don’t know. I don’t really want to put a timetable on it, because it’s something that I can be going great for one week and then I can have a setback with this type of injury the next, so I’m just going to take it one week at a time.”
Fans still have the pictures in their mind of Paul [Pierce] and Kevin [Garnett] wearing Celtics jerseys, and now you’re the leader of the team. What is the pressure like on your shoulders?
“The pressure gets bigger each year, and if you know me, then you know I love pressure, so I don’t think about it too much. I’m just focused on getting my knee back healthy and getting back on the court as fast as possible.”
What do you think are the main characteristics a team leader needs to have?
“He has to be humble. He has to be able to listen. A leader doesn’t always have to be the one that talks. You have to lead by example, and just always have faith and believe in one another.”
What do you hope to see from the Celtics this season?
“I hope to see us grow as a team. I hope to see us win a lot of games, and as long as we’re out there competing and give it all we have each game, then I think we’ll do that.”
|Rajon Rondo: Why would I want out of Boston?||10.09.13 at 10:14 am ET|
His new endorsement deal with Chinese company Anta now official, Rajon Rondo granted an interview to a few reporters at Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel to promote the shoe he helped design and a new clothing line.
The Celtics point guard held true to his vague “some time in the 2013-14 season” timeline for a return and cleared up a few recent statements, including Grantland’s assertion “he will be traded” this season and Rondo’s own claim he “didn’t feel anything” when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers left town this summer. The following quotes come from CBS Sports, Boston Herald and Comcast reports.
- On Boston: “I love it here. The fans are great here. And Danny [Ainge] has been straightforward with me. This is my team. Why would I want to leave? Why would I want out? I never really backed away from a challenge. This would be a challenge. I’m looking forward to working with coach [Brad] Stevens. It’s a brand new start for us as a team. A lot of new players and a lot of young guys willing to listen, so I’m very excited.”
- On basketball: “Whatever coach asks of me, that’s what I try to do. If he wants me to shoot the ball more, I’ll shoot it. But at the end of the day, my natural instincts are to make my teammates better. Regardless of who is out on the floor, I believe I do make everybody out there better. I’m going to push them as hard as I can. I’m going to demand a lot out of them. I wouldn’t demand anything that I wouldn’t demand of myself. So I’m excited to play with a new group of guys.”
- On brotherhood: “Obviously, it was different when the trade went down. I didn’t expect it to happen because I just got off a plane. But it happens, and that’s the business. But I’m not going to say, like, ‘Forget about them.’ I was just talking about them in the locker room today — telling some stories about how KG was, things Paul did. At the end of the day, I still talk to every one of those guys. I talk to JET [Jason Terry]. I talk to P. I talked to Kevin [Monday]. We still check on each other. It’s a brotherhood. It’s something you can’t erase. We won titles together. We’ve been through the fire together. It’s something for life.”
- On Rivers: “I took a lot away from Doc. I still catch myself laughing at some of the things he’s told certain guys. Now, me being the leader of this team, I mimic some of the things that Doc has said to each individual guy. I learned a lot from Doc. I tried to study his ways as far as a coach because it’s something I may want to do in the future. I’ve got a lot of respect for Doc.”
- On Adrian Peterson: “Obviously, he came back and had an MVP season. That’s what I want to have when I come back. I don’t want to come back and be mediocre. I don’t want to have any excuses. I want to be ready to go. I don’t want to have to blame anything on my knee.”
|Jalen Rose to Bill Simmons: Rajon Rondo ‘will be traded’||10.08.13 at 10:57 am ET|
So, this exchange just happened.
Bill Simmons: “Clairvoyant Bill thinks Rajon Rondo has 20 games or less left as a Boston Celtic. He’ll play 20 games or under this year with the BOS next to his career stats someday, whether they hold him and hold him and hold him and just shelve him and waste the season and don’t bring him back until February and then give him some fake injury so they can tank, or whether they get 15 games out of him and then trade him.”
Jalen Rose: “Bill, this is why we give the people what they want. What you just described is the worst-kept secret in the NBA. Once you trade Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, the year before they lost Ray Allen, and you lose Doc Rivers, the next obvious domino is Rajon Rondo.”
BS: “If you’re going to blow it up, don’t leave one room in the blown-up house and be like, ‘I’m going to keep the living room.’ You blow up the house. They have to convince him that we’re going to take care of you with a max extension, but you gotta sacrifice this year. He didn’t play the second half of last year, so he’s going to give up a year-and-a-half?”
JR: “When Rondo shows that he’s back playing at an elite level, he will be traded from the Boston Celtics.”
|Rudy Gay: Rajon Rondo ‘will be stronger than ever’||at 1:34 am ET|
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo might not share his thoughts on the last eight months with the Boston media, but he’s certainly opened to his friends, including Raptors star Rudy Gay, the recipient of Rondo’s greatest alley-oop pass. Not that Gay, who included Rondo in his wedding over the summer, is going to share that info, either.
“If he’s not telling, then I’m not telling,” said Gay, who just finished scoring 17 points on 11 shots in an efficient 23:12 during a 97-89 victory against the Rondo-less Celtics in Boston. “He’s working his hardest to get back. He’s not the type of guy to take a day off. He’s worried about the team, and he’s worried about himself.”
While it may be strange for Celtics fans to see their team without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, it’s not all that weird for guys like Gay, who entered the league when Pierce’s Celtics won 24 games in 2006-07. Since then, he’s seen LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, James Harden, David Lee, Zach Randolph, Tyson Chandler and Jrue Holiday — each All-Stars last season — swap uniforms.
As Gay described it, “Listen, man, the league changes every year.” And he should know. The Grizzlies sent him to Toronto just last year. Really, the departure of Pierce and Garnett is nothing new in today’s NBA, so don’t you think Rondo eventually realized that, too? In fact, Gay believes Rondo will ultimately flourish without them.
|Irish Coffee: Danny Ainge’s tankless Celtics job||10.03.13 at 2:44 pm ET|
The great Ian Thomsen elicited not one, but two of the best quotes on the tanking issue facing the Celtics this season in his latest for Sports Illustrated — both from C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
Here’s the first important phrase from Ainge, addressing what many believe is the strongest NBA draft class since the 2003 edition that produced eight All-Stars (including a guy by the name of LeBron James) — headed by potential franchise players Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle.
“If Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was out there to change your franchise forever, or Tim Duncan was going to change your franchise for 15 years? That might be a different story. I don’t see that player out there.”
Interesting. If this isn’t some strange attempt at a Red Auerbach-esque bluff, then tanking doesn’t concern these C’s — not only because of the historically poor Ping Pong luck of the Irish, but because Wiggins isn’t LeBron.
Besides, even if Ainge wanted to tank, it’s not like he’s gathering his coach and players around the locker room and delivering an anti-motivational speech. (Which, by the way, would be great: “Great draft picks are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One season. If we played 82 games, they might win 41. But not this season. Not this year. This year, we tank them. This year, we lose all of them. And we shut it down because we can! This year, WE are the worst basketball team in the world.” And a slow clap, of course.) Anyhow, as for real Ainge quotes, here’s that second important one.