|Posted by paul on July 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM|
At this point, I have mad respect for Brad Stevens. What other coach would be at the same time humble enough, and secure enough, to go out of his way to travel to where his best player is at during the summer for a meet? I suspect that no other coach would have done that. I'm certain that Doc Rivers would never have done that. I'm equally sure that had Rivers made such a move last summer, this past season might have gone differently, and maybe we would not be talking about Brad Stevens right now at all.
Brad Stevens has taken 1 billion airplane flights in the past week and a half (give or take a few), so he probably wants to rest at some point soon. But before doing that, he reportedly took one more flight . . . to visit Rajon Rondo's basketball camp.
According to the Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes, Stevens spoke at Rondo's camp Thursday in Louisville. There have been questions about whether the new Celtics head coach, fresh out of Butler, can build a solid working relationship with his All-Star point guard. But every indication coming from Rondo's camp suggests he's fine with the hiring, and Stevens gushed about his star player at an introductory press conference last week, calling himself Rondo's biggest fan.
But it's one thing to say all the right things. It's another to interrupt a ridiculously busy week to visit Kentucky and ensure the relationship gets off to a good start. Stevens said last week that he'll deal with the Celtics players by letting them know he cares.
This gives me greatly increased hope for the coming season. Reportedly Felger and Mazz jumped all over Stevens for 'sucking up' to Rondo. Well, they can call it whatever they want, but I think it's a recognition that the NBA is a players' game, and that we have one of the best players, and one of the most creative players, whose full potential many feel has not been revealed, because he has played his entire career under the shadow of others. It's looking more and more like Danny sees it that way. I think it is, anyway, and I think that's good news. These two guys, Stevens and Rondo, need to work together. If you ask me, if Rondo is to stay, everything depends on that.
Some commentors continue to insist that Rondo must follow the coach's plan. I feel that they don't understand basketball. A good coach needs to work out a plan with his best player(s). It's not about forcing the player into a mold. It shouldn't be, anyway.
To me, this feels like the first day of the new season. We aren't tanking. We are in the beginning stages of something very special. I won't get crazily excited like I did last summer, but I'm starting to get excited.