After Rajon Rondo called out his teammates for not taking losses as hard as they probably should, there’s more coming out about the state of the C’s locker room.
The Celtics are a team — and that’s not counting Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett — that believes because they are Celtics, because Rivers is the coach, and because the organization has been successful the past six years, they will snap out of their stupor despite giving the same effort they have been for the first 40 games.
The results from those 40 games are in and the Celtics are an average team at best, primed for an elimination by the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. They don’t play well at home. They don’t play well on the road. They don’t consistently defend. They don’t consistently rebound. And they don’t consistently score.
They miss Ray Allen. And not just because he was a long-range scorer and could get to the free throw line. He also brought professionalism and seriousness to the table. The locker room has become a playhouse after games, with players brushing off difficult losses like Boston snowflakes.
The NBA is a difficult place. The season is long, and dwelling on losses for too long can affect the next day’s performance. There is very a much a need to “move on” from losses quickly.
But “quickly” also doesn’t mean “immediately after the game.” And that’s where some of the problem may be coming from.
As for Rondo, whose comments have been chided by some who see him as part of the problem, there’s this interesting tibit from Washburn:
Rondo is attempting to become a leader, but his teammates have to view him as one. They can’t view him as just a buddy. He has been handled the mantle and he absolutely has to begin holding his teammates more accountable and demand that they take their jobs more seriously. He has rid the locker room of the “I’m not worried, we have another game tomorrow” attitude.
I’m always intrigued by the Rondo tapestry that continues to be weaved. He’s complex, emotional, and imperfect. Yet he is driven and, when he puts his mind to it, among the best in the league at his job.
Rondo wants to be a leader. The team needs him to be a leader. So it’s time to make choices.
If he’s truly torn between being a leader and being everyone’s friend, he needs pick a side. Picking the “leader” side means saying things that hurt. It means telling people the truth and demanding they change what’s wrong.
Pierce and KG can do it, but their time is almost over. They played in the league when it still had old-school roughneck holdovers and Hall of Fame locks that these younger guys bought posters of from Spencer’s Gifts. Rondo has a bunch of guys his age around now. He’s the one that relates to them.
It’s largely on Rondo now to fix this situation, but for once, he needs to do it off the court, instead of on it. The question is… is he up for it?