Boston Celtics All-Star point guard and recent addition to the awesome-players-with-torn-ACLs-club Rajon Rondo is a pretty controversial guy. He can get rough on the court, has called Dwyane Wade a dirty player, once made fun of the Miami Heat during a halftime interview, allegedly drove Ray Allen out of Boston, and has even been rumored to break a television with a bottle of Gatorade. Still, say what you want about his personality and attitude, Rondo likes to win.
So, when the NBA’s resident odd duck went down for the season and couldn’t play another minute of basketball, I was interested to see what he would say. When Doc Rivers announced he was through in the Celtics organization, I braced myself for a lash out. Finally, once Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were shipped out, Rondo would have something harsh to say. Yet for some reason, none of those things brought forth anything inappropriate from Rondo. I really should not have been surprised when he didn’t say anything about the Brad Stevens hiring, yet I was. In fact, Rondo has been so calm and professional as of late, it took me by surprise.
When Garnett and Pierce left, Rondo would become the new leader of the Celtics. Shouldn’t we therefore expect him to have a lot to say, especially since he isn’t playing? But staying quiet and calm around the media has been the best thing Rondo could have done. Known as being a boat rocker, Rondo’s demeanor so far has been encouraging to the Celtics’ franchise.
When Stevens arrived on the scene and recommended a psychology book about overcoming challenges for him, Rondo came out and called it his favorite book, and said that Stevens was his “best friend.” My mind cannot conceive a reaction more positive than that. Rondo could think that book had the intellectual complexity of Fox in Sox and that Stevens in the biggest idiot he has ever met in his entire life, but he isn’t saying it.
I’m not suggesting that Rondo really does feel that way, but the point is that even if he did, we wouldn’t know about it. By remaining calm and taking everything in a positive light, Rondo is already setting a winning tone for a team that wasn’t primed to do much of it. Without even getting on the floor, Rondo is already proving his leadership capability.