Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“He’s not out there to make friends with his opponent, and that’s less common now than it was in the old days, no question,” said Ainge, who played in the 1980s, an era when all-out brawls were normal.
In fact, Celtics forward Jared Sullinger said earlier this season, when the Celtics were getting pummeled in Houston, a Celtics player shook hands with a Houston player and Rondo erupted.
“When we got in the locker room,” Sullinger said, “[Rondo] pretty much cussed us out, saying, ‘What are you doing? Why are we shaking hands with people that are beating the life out of us?’
“You can tell, he’s an old-school basketball player. It’s no friends for him. It’s all business.”
Teammate Brandon Bass called Rondo “the most competitive person I know” and compared him with a point guard that Bass played with in New Orleans: Chris Paul. “I think it’s a little-guy thing, man,” Bass said. “They’re both killers.”
Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith and Rondo are close friends and were roommates together at Oak Hill. But, Smith said, “When the ball is [thrown] in the air, we’re not friends for those 48 minutes that we’re playing against each other. He does have that type of mentality.”
Rondo’s antics against the Pacers aren’t anything new, said Tubby Smith, who recounted Rondo doing the same kind of things in practices at Kentucky.
“That’s where we always had that look, like, ‘Rajon, why did you do that?’ ” Smith said. “But you knew why — he was just that competitive. I mean, when we had one-on-one drills, man, a fight might break out. He was just that competitive.”
Boston Globe – There’s no questioning Rajon Rondo’s commitment to winning With an incredible in-depth piece, the Globe’s Baxter Holmes goes through sort of a “this-is-your-leadership-life” theme about Rajon Rondo and his current role as leader of the Celtics. There are really about a dozen or so sections I could pluck from here but every coach Rondo has had at every level chimes in and attempts to break-down and explain how “challenging” Rondo can be. Doc Rivers makes sure to make the distinction between “difficult” and “challenging.”
While Rondo hasn’t been perfect he has the programming of just the type of leader you’d want out there on the floor. Look, as inside writers or bloggers/fans from the outside, we can all try and attempt to figure him out. We can try to explain and defend our love for such an enigmatic player. We can all go to extreme lengths to psycho-analyze and tear him apart just to bash him because “we don’t like him” or “he’s just a punk.” The truth of the matter is that none of us really can, except for these handful of guys that have coached him. And even reading Holmes’ fantastic piece, it’s not exactly solving for “X.”
In the end it doesn’t really matter. What matters most is what his teammates think of him. It’s how they follow him. It’s how they respond to him when he raises his expectations for them. Ainge loves his attitude and approach as evidenced above and even saying that he liked the whole “bottle throwing” incident. Rondo is unique and he’s been a hell of a player, especially when it matters most- in the playoffs. He loves the big challenges and is facing perhaps one of the biggest ones of his career. From all accounts above, from those who have lived with him and worked with him, and butted heads with him, they all seem to agree: he’s ready and willing to accept and defeat this rebuilding challenge in the way only he can: with poetry and chaos.
The rest of the links:
Boston Herald – Celtics Notebook: Avery Bradley tries not to rush it | Tommy points for Pop