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Rajon Rondo: Kevin Garnett ‘will be a big reason’ Celtics content for title 09.28.12 at 8:07 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett has taught Rajon Rondo how to be a leader.

That much was obvious two weeks ago when Rondo took it upon himself to invite Celtics players out to Los Angeles for a pick-up game/workout and a friendly game of flag-football. The reason? Team bonding.

Rondo made it clear Friday at Celtics media day how big of an impact Garnett has had on him in his career. Rondo said after losing Game 7 of the Eastern finals to the Heat in Miami, the first thing he did when he got on the bus was to ask Garnett if he were coming back.

“I can probably say Kevin is my closest friend on the team,” Rondo began. “Kevin always wants to see me do well. From Day 1, I think my second year when he first came in, he told me he would be disappointed if I wasn’t the MVP of the league one day, if I wasn’t considered one of the best point guards one day so he’s always pushed me and expected more out of me than a lot of people did. He’s always showed me how to become a better person each day. Whenever I mess up, Kevin’s always the one who tells me you should do this, or conduct yourself this way or handle it that way.

“He’s been kind of like a big brother/mentor and he’s always wanted the best for me so that’s how we sort of gravitated toward each other. Obviously, off the court, we have a lot of things in common. We share the same interests in a lot of things. He’s been like a big brother to me. The way he goes about the game, the way he approaches the game. He’s a future hall of famer, I consider one of the greatest players to ever play the game who’s been in front of me. So, he’s inspired me to work hard, come in every day, come in get extra shots, taking care of my body, getting proper rest, getting massages, getting treatment and getting stretching. This is how to have longevity in the NBA. He’s played for 17 years and only two or three players can say that in this era.”

As for those who doubt whether a 36-year-old Kevin Garnett can be productive, Rondo said Friday he knows better.

“I don’t take it personal because I’m not him but I kind of laugh when people say he’s old or he doesn’t do this or he can’t do that because if you know the game of basketball, it’s one thing but when you play with Kevin, he does so many little things that don’t show up in the stat book,” Rondo said. “When you play with another big guy that isn’t Kevin Garnett, you know what you’re missing out there on the floor. Obviously, in the playoffs he had a great run. If you look at the stats, the plus-minus when Kevin was on and off the floor, there was a big difference. Read the rest of this entry »

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10 things we learned from Rajon Rondo interview 09.26.12 at 3:01 pm ET
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The summer of Rondo continues. Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears caught up with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo somewhere between his Asia tour, the now infamous players-only Los Angeles minicamp and the team’s upcoming Euro trip — and the quotes are as golden as they get for Rondo aficionados.

Without further ado, here are 10 things we learned from the Rondo interview.

10. Rondo hung out at Paul Pierce‘s house, chilled at Kevin Garnett‘s crib and ate Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles last week, as did everyone on the Celtics but Darko Milicic. Good times.

9. Rondo calls Jason Terry — and not Justin Timberlake — J.T. — and not “Jet.”

8. Rondo indeed organized the L.A. workouts. “I wanted J.T. to play with Kevin. I wanted Courtney [Lee] to see how Paul likes to play. I wanted Paul and Jeff Green to go at each other. I wanted to play with those guys. It was getting guys away from our actual training facility to get a new view.”

7. Rondo refers to himself in the third person. “I wanted the guys to have fun. When you’re with me I want you to say, ‘Man, I had a good time with Rondo.’ And I think that’s what they did.” (Aside: Is “Man, I had a good time with Rondo” the greatest Rondoism ever? Yes. Yes it is.)

6. Rondo definitely didn’t get along with Ray Allen. “If you look at your job, everyone doesn’t always get along with every co-worker they work with.” OK, then.

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Jason Terry: ‘My mission is to kill’ Heat, Lakers 09.25.12 at 5:01 pm ET
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The way each member of the Celtics brass lobbied for Jason Terry in his foursome at the team’s annual charity golf outing (owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca won out, obviously), you wonder whether Doc Rivers & Co. lured Terry more for his ability to replace Ray Allen on the course rather than the court.

But really C’s president Danny Ainge sought Terry for three simple reasons: Scoring, scoring and more scoring.

“We wanted a scorer off the dribble,” said Rivers. “We do it every year right after the season: I always sit down and write Danny a long letter about needs, and that was my No. 1 need.”

So, Rivers knew exactly who to put on speed dial once NBA free agency began, and as Terry said, “When Doc calls, you answer.” The conversation probably went something like this: Your mission, Jason, should you choose to accept it, involves the recovery of a stagnant offense.

“My mission is to kill, whoever that is, whether it’s the Heat or whether it’s the Lakers — hopefully both,” said the 35-year-old Terry, “but that’s my mission, and that’s what I’m here to do.”

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Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo teaches patented moves 08.31.12 at 10:51 am ET
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Is it just me, or are these Filipino kids better at Rajon Rondo‘s Euro Step and floater moves than he is?

On this episode of Where in the World is Rajon Rondo, we have these possibly lost in translation anecdotes, courtesy of Hong Kong’s The Standard in the Celtics point guard’s latest Asian tour stop (h/t The Republican):

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Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo continues bromance with Manny Pacquiao, wants ‘at least’ two NBA titles in next five years 08.28.12 at 9:50 am ET
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We’ve already discussed in detail the bromance between Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and the Celtics that they consummated after the C’s 2008 NBA championship victory. Naturally, since Rajon Rondo traveled to the Philippines on behalf of Red Bull, the Celtics point guard fielded a number of Pacman questions.

It was love at first sight. Or, as Rondo told ABS-CBN News, “I went back to the locker room, and I saw [Miguel] Cotto walking back, and then I saw Pacquiao come back and he was smiling. So from that point on, I started watching his fights and following him.”

How does Rondo love thee? Let him count the ways. “It’s his competitiveness. He works hard at what he does. “I’ve seen ’24/7,’ so I’ve seen the time that he puts in, and the dedication and the love and passion for his craft.”

The only thing Rondo said of real value to C’s fans came during an interview with InterAKTV: “I hope I can end my career as the greatest point guard in the history of the Boston Celtics.”

He expanded on this subject in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News in the Philippines.
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Irish Coffee: Greatest Rajon Rondo interview ever? 08.24.12 at 11:45 am ET
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This is the greatest news to come out of Paris since Lance Armstrong won all those Tour de France titles. Um, I mean, nothing to see here. Nevermind. Let’s get to the real French lesson of the day.

In the search to find video of Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo‘s appearance at this week’s Obama Classic in New York City — discovering only two poor audio clips of Rondo discussing his reasons to support the President and the brutal slate of NBA point guards — I instead discovered possibly the greatest Rondo interview in history. This from a guy who turned an entire season of his interviews into the “Everybody Loves Rajon” sitcom.

Now, my French isn’t so good, but after the first dude says something about penetrating before mentioning Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the next guy asks a question along the lines of, “You’re a pass-first point guard and a great defender, but you needed to relearn how to shoot. Did you hire a coach to improve your terrible jump shot?”

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Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck: ‘There’s some sort of nuclear reactor’ in Kevin Garnett 08.15.12 at 2:33 pm ET
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Celtics co-owner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He talked business — which we’ll get to in a moment — but once the host ceased his endless string of incorrect basketball facts (He thought this happened: “And now there’s a steal by DJ, underneath to Bird, he lays it in.”), Bostonian Ben Mezrich, author of both “Bringing Down the House” and “The Accidental Billionaires,” snuck in a couple basketball questions.

Mezrich: “What’s your favorite Kevin Garnett story?”

Grousbeck: “The funny thing about KG is that there’s really no story, because there’s a 24/7 continuous loop. You couldn’t even break it up into stories. You’ll be on the team plane at three or four in the morning, you’ll hear this noise nonstop — it’s someone talking at the top of his voice — and it’s KG. From the moment you take off to the moment you land, whatever hour of the day, he’s talking to rookies, he’s telling stories. He’s just nonstop. there’s some sort of nuclear reactor inside him that never quits.”

Mezrich: “How does a guy like Rajon Rondo happen?”

Grousbeck: “We’re lucky to have Danny Ainge here. Ryan McDonough was an early scout who saw Rondo. Danny and Ryan saw him at Oak Hill Academy in high school. Basically, Danny said at that point he was going to be the starting point guard of the Celtics three or four years later, and that’s what happened. Danny had his eye on him very, very early. That’s a competitive advantage we have — having Danny Ainge as president of basketball.”

Grousbeck touched on a number of other topics, including the Olympics, team ownership as investment and the NBA lockout. Here’s a rundown of the highlights from the 10-minutes discussion.

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