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Keyon Dooling was wary of Rajon Rondo

Chuck - Red's Army August 15, 2014 Celtics News, Keyon Dooling, Rajon Rondo 12 Comments

rondo-dooling

Hoops Hype has some excerpts from Keyon Dooling’s book, “What’s Driving You?” Key goes into detail about his relationship with Rajon Rondo:

It began with my mentorship of Rajon Rondo. Before coming to Boston, I was a little wary of him. I had heard so many stories about how tough he was to work with and how hard he was to talk to – I just didn’t know what I was in for. His reputation was that he was standoffish, super smart, and super emotional – but, I had to say, these are the characteristics of many great men. Most great men, they hate authority and they hate the system and they’re very passionate about their beliefs, because they see a better way. Rondo was also a super-competitive guy: He wanted to win the drills, he wanted to win at playing checkers, heck, he even wanted to win at Connect Four. If you’ve ever seen the video of him taking down two ESPN guys in two separate games at once, you know what I’m talking about.

So here I was, on a mission to connect with this supposedly scary dude everyone’s talking about. I didn’t really have a choice, they even moved his locker next to mine to get the relationship going.

Result? A great friendship!

I found him to be the total opposite of scary. I think the timing had a lot to with it – he was at a place in life where he was open to my way of helping. There were a lot of misconceptions about him in the media and even in the league, and I wanted people to appreciate Ray (that’s what I call him) for who he truly was.

And who is he? An amazing player and an amazing guy. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of NBA players that I seriously consider to be true friends that I can always depend on. Ray is one of them – a man of quality.

Glad to hear that Keyon was able to crack Rajon’s wall and they’ve become good friends. While it’s obvious why a majority of the media despises him (he doesn’t play their game), I don’t understand why players around the league don’t like Rondo. He can’t be the only competitive prick in the NBA.

Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett all love Rondo and still speak highly of him even though they are long gone. Is it simply that Rondo is abrasive to anyone not wearing his color uniform? If so, explain why Kobe and Melo desperately want to play alongside him.

And how about these words of praise from 76ers rookie Nerlens Noel:

With all the support and love, certain guys, especially Rajon Rondo — he was definitely the biggest helper through this whole process, he actually gave me his phone number and told me I could hit him up whenever about it. Being from Boston, watching him growing up, and he went through it and he came back as strong as possible, actually before me, so it gave me a lot of confidence, having his good faith.

Rajon going out of his way to help a relative stranger. You don’t say…

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  • Coach A. Johnson

    Good article. He needs this kind of press, as some folks only believe what they hear from other sources. He is a competitor.

  • tvor03

    I like this article.

    And Rondo helping out Noel is no surprise to me. It’s the Brotherhood of Blue. Kentucky sticks with you for life, whether you play here for one year or four.

    • Dave

      Noel is a Boston native as well, wouldn’t mind seeing him playing here in the near future :)

  • Rick Rice

    Thank You Keyon and Thank You Chuck for having the Courage to Print Something Supportive and Positive about Rajon Rondo BASED ON FACT and not the hate filled fictional rhetoric and hearsay we get from so many in the Boston Sports Community (Ryan, Tanguay, Felger to name a few)

    • LA Flake

      Ryan? Bob Ryan? THE Bob Ryan???

  • Daniel Warren Brown

    I take my assessment of Rondo from guys like Tommy Heinsohn. Guys with rings. When asked about Rondo’s stubbornness he just said “please…” as in “gimme a break”. Rondo’s as stubborn as a mule but that’s not a flaw because he’s even more stubborn about winning. This year he will make them all STFU.

    • LA Flake

      Yeah but how often has Tommy groaned and sighed while watching Rondo get glued to a screen playing his Kobe-like metador defense the last few years?

      Not saying Rondo is this or that. I think we’ll find out what he is truly made of this year.

  • NE_Celt

    Even though Keyon was only with the team a short while, I really felt like he fit the Celtic profile…just a good dude and a solid player. Anyone who had a chance to meet him and play with him is better off for it I’m sure.

    • LA Flake

      He would’ve been a good Celtic for sure if he had latched on to us earlier, say, in 2005 and stayed through the PPKG era. The other one I absolutely loathed to see go was Leon Powe. Seriously, how the hell has Wyc not offerhim a job? The Lakers (suck!) are notorious for taking care of their own. Wyc just seems to be crunching numbers more than anything. It was bad karma when we let such an inspirational guy go. Come on Wyc. Don’t be a cheap ass and start taking care of your own guys!

      • Dave

        We should have tried to pickup Keyon either 2008 or 2010, he really grew on me once the playoffs rolled around during his time here, great veteran presence and energetic guy, I don’t blame management for letting Powe go since his knees were pretty much done after 2009, I wouldn’t have minded if they signed him again in 2011 thru the PP/KG era and have him be a bench warmer that u can throw in to give a couple good playoff fouls

  • BillRussell

    Nerlens and Embiid could potentially be real deal together. Wld kill to have them on celts

  • omitasub

    If Rondo played in the 80’s or the 90’s he’d be considered one of the best point guards and probably one of the more like-able players to ever play. His old school mix of intelligence, competitiveness, toughness and skill would resonate well in the 80’s 90’s era. But sadly the NBA of today is soft and full of fake divas.