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…