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Red's Army

“The locker room has become a playhouse…”

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) January 22, 2013 Celtics News, Rajon Rondo 33 Comments

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?

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  • Curt

    “They miss Ray Allen.”

    WHOA.

  • http://twitter.com/dustdaughter Didi Jenning

    I’m confused. One reporter says that the locker room has been stressed out during the losing streak. Now this one says it’s a playhouse. The press could be omitting details to fit the narrative they want to present to fans. And unless I see a quote that says they miss departed players, I’m going to question this whole article.

    • Stephanie

      The reporters definitely put a story together to fit the scenario.

      If the C’s had won these last 3 games, the reporters would say “It’s so light hearted and fun in the locker room..they truly enjoy each other.”

      They know that fans want answers to what’s going wrong and what better than to give “insight” on the locker room.

    • S.L.

      Rondo is the one who said that the locker room is too lax and until guys start taking loses seriously nothing will change. See link below to listen for yourself. This is not the media.

      http://www.csnne.com/pages/celticsvideo?PID=uvXM2-wq1Sry8YdmyTSAzb9d5bYrjzE0dV1pxd

  • Willow Green

    Rondo is one of the best all around players. When he is ingame he should attack the problem.

    If his team mates cant score, he should score.
    if his team mates cant rebound, he should rebound.

    Lead by example, he should do every thing himself if he wants to be respected

  • Larry Legend

    That article is stupid.

  • KGino

    Yeah, cuz ray Allen’s leadership did a lot of good when we were 15-17 last year.

    Replace Ray with “a healthy Avery Bradley”. When dude is out there playing 30 min a game, were much better off.

    • Al

      Let’s see if the Celitics can make it to the second round of the playoffs with your super Bradley.

    • S.L.

      Just like Bradley brings things to the table that Ray cannot at this age(great on the ball defender), there are things that Ray brought to the table the Avery cannot(veteran experience, spreading the floor for KG, Rondo and Pierce to operate, a clutch shooter).

      I never heard of the locker room being so lax in the last 5 years, not even last year, so WHY now? The only new players who were not around for at least one year during the original big three era are Lee, Sully, Collins and Terry. Everyone else has been here for at least one year and understands the Celtic culture. So why such a big change? I have never heard DOC threaten to get rid of players in public. He usually sticks up for his players…

      • kg215

        Well you could say besides the big 3 and maybe Bradley/Sullinger everyone else deserves to be called out. Don’t forget Jeff Green’s personality is too laid back, he is like that by default and other than a couple more drives to the basket he is the exact same player as he was 2 years ago (I.E. a mediocre underperformer with talent to spare). Bass/Lee/Green/Terry have not played to the best of their ability, though Lee is starting to come on now on both ends. Collins would be in there too but we only got him to have another big body, expectations for him are nonexistent.

  • Danno

    Everyone wanted them to get younger. So they did. This is what happens when you get younger. You get stupid.

    • Sam

      Right, because the Thunder have so many attitude / work ethic issues.

    • http://Msn Belinda

      Could not have said it better myself

  • Sam

    I can’t help thinking that part of the problem may be that, like Ray Allen, Pierce and Garnett have trouble truly recognizing Rondo as the leader of the team, and still want to treat him as their “little brother.”

    • kg215

      I think they would have completely let Rondo take over if Rondo was able to do that. Rondo’s leadership has improved for sure, but he has to keep working at it (he is not there yet). Rondo should clearly be the best player on the court when he is out there, lead by example type of thing; but we all know Rondo has issues with consistency and it is not going away anytime soon. I still consider Rondo a top 2 or top 3 point guard but he is not the clear leader of this team, Pierce and KG are not in his way/they are covering for him IMO.

  • truthtrey34

    I’m not sure I understand the purpose of that article. So the lack of professionalism is Rondo’s fault? We know of his competitive nature but it appears his teammates don’t have the same nature outside of KG and PP. One article said that the players were stressed when they were losing. Now the locker room is a playhouse w/o giving evidence as to how its a playhouse. What I gathered from reading that is that each guy deals with loses differently. Also, I don’t see how Ray Allen fits into this narrative. Celtics were losing last season before the All-Star break with Ray Allen in the locker room. The issue here is guy guys are not bringing it on the court. Not fighting through screens. Contesting. Picking up their man in transition. Guys get down when their shots are not falling. Not aggressive enough. Relying on broken jumpers. Not getting into the paint. That’s the real problem.

    • truthtrey34

      Sorry I meant lost not loses. Forgive me. Haha! Typing too fast.

  • http://Msn Belinda

    I understand the leadership Rondo is trying to establish, but if guys don’t want a championship, then he should not be held responsible for GROWN PEOPLE. Sully is the perfect example, he’s the youngest on the team and works the hardest, so it all boils down to how bad you want something!

    • http://www.RedsArmy.com KWAPT

      BINGO.

  • Celticsfanatic

    Link? I assume all these quotes are from Washburn, just confused.

    If the Celtics come out flat tonight again, I don’t care if you have to trade KG for Mullens. Move away from the win now mentality and make sweet love to lottery dreams. If they really can’t turn up the heat tonight they are not a championship team, and like I’ve said countless times: an eighth seed in the NBA, without a handful of young stars on their way up, is nothing. In fact, it’s worse than nothing. In the NBA if nothing is happening to you, your franchise dies. I’d rather hear ping pong balls. Rondo/Bradley/Sullinger/Melo are nice, but the idea that Rondo has sealed his fate as the next Stockton, Bradley has sealed his fate as the next Joe Dumars, Sullinger has sealed his fate as the next Barkley and Melo has sealed his fate as the next Mutombo is a fantasy. Each player certainly has that ceiling, but none of them are the sure thing that LBJ or Durant were.This isn’t like any other modern day Big 3 team that the Cs have had. Doc Rivers calling for trades? That sealed it for me.

    • Celticsfanatic

      Meaning Byron Mullens* and my point was that Danny shouldn’t hesitate to break his dream of the Celtics being a contender in the here and now just because he’ll get pennies on the dollar for fossils like Garnett and Pierce. Beloved, legendary fossils but fossils nonetheless.

  • Brent

    Its not an effort issue, this team just isn’t that good! Without an inside presence we are headed for a disappointing early playoff exit…if we make the playoffs at all.

    • Stephanie

      It’s totally effort. When they won the first few games in the streak, they were attacking. They either outrebounded or was near the same amount of rebounds as the opposing team. They made the hustle plays and just made it hard on the other team to score..all without an inside presence. Plus, when was the last time the C’s had a true inside presence?

    • eddysamson

      Dude are you using your eyes while watching these games? We’re losing because no one can shoot for shit. Our defense has improved, significantly. Even without AB out there, Lee (mostly) and everyone else really is doing a lot better on D. Opp scores have been down overall and thats a FACT!

      Were losing (at least recently) because no one cant shoot. its simple, really.

      • eddysamson

        can shoot*

      • kg215

        The problem with our defense is consistency/reliability Since Bradley has come back our defensive numbers are much better, about what we expect from a Celtics team since KG came to Boston. The past 3 games, there were times where we had to rely on our defense toward the end of games and we failed. Maybe we can flip the switch like in 2010 but that is not an easy thing to do.

  • brent

    Teams that depend on jump shooting and can’t rebound won’t win in the playoffs. Our d was better when Avery returned but its gonna take more than one man. You guys really think this is a championship caliber team?

    • http://Msn Belinda

      At this moment they are not playing like a championship team, but I agree with rondo, this team has to much talent to be putting up the types of wins they have been producing, I say trade a big piece to this team to send an example to the rest of team letting them no you mean business !

      • Mike C

        I couldn’t agree more, its time to get rid of 1 or 2 players. Make an example out of them & then we’ll see if that won’t light a fire under the rest of the team. Are we a championship team… probably not. Should the Celtics be 20 and 21,…. no way in hell. We’re way better than that, we’ve just lost our passion to win.

  • SF Celts fan

    We have the same problem the lakers do. Jokers in the locker room. Dwight Howard is a loser — we need to find the losers on our team and cut them.

  • Me

    trade brandon bass i’m all for it