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Celtics Morning Joe: Pierce believes Rondo can be the face of the Celtics

Posted by shawn cassidy on August 19, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Oil and water? Was that Rondo, and Paul Pierce in the final leg of the Celtics "Big 4" era? They gelled at times, and sometimes they just didn't look right together. Old story there. I think they both were good off the court. Did they go out to concerts? No, but they didn't dislike each other either. Since Paul's departure from Boston, he's offered up glowing praise for Rondo, and although the latest comments seem similar to some older ones. The comments captured in this article done by Jimmy Toscano/Washburn gives more praise to Rondo.

Pierce, who spoke with the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn, thinks that Rondo is much more mature than people give him credit for. He's confident that Rondo can take the reigns and be the leader of the Celtics going forward.

“Without question [he can be the man in Boston],” Pierce said to the Globe. “I’ve already talked to Rajon; Rajon’s mature. People talk about the relationship with Doc [Rivers], and they probably had their best years over the last two years. So I don’t think that was a reason for Doc leaving. I’ve heard that, but that wasn’t a reason for Doc not coming back.

“Rondo is one of the best players in the league. He’s a guy who can be the face of a franchise. He’s won a championship, he’s been an All-Star. There’s a lot of organizations who don’t even have a face of that caliber.

“I definitely think he’s matured and can handle a lot. I talked to him and he’s ready for the challenge. He knows that it’s his team. He knows he has to be a leader, and from being around me and Kevin [Garnett] and seeing how we work.”

Pierce could just as easily spoken negatively about his former teammate, but the fact he's praising him even after his departure should prove a little easier that Rondo wasn't as bad with his teammates and coaches as he was portrayed to be.

Paul has been a class act since being traded. He could have easily been bitter. He could have said you chose Rondo over me? He could have said a lot of things about being traded. He did say he was hurt by the trade in past interviews, but Pierce has been more professional then some other past Celtics. Ray wasn't shy about how he felt about Rondo and some other things in Boston. This is finally Rondo's team, and Paul has handed over the keys, not by choice, but Pierce is sending a message through comments like the ones above, to the fans that everything is okay. Rondo is one of the best, and he'll take care of the Celtics going forward. Paul doesn't have to say more then what he has.

Categories: Celtics Morning Joe

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Reply paul
7:10 AM on August 19, 2013 
You can tell that they are still like family. Maybe older brother and younger brother couldn't get along as well as they would have liked, but they still love each other.
Reply Greg
12:17 PM on August 19, 2013 
They share a bond, for sure like big brother,little brother.Let's not forget. Pierce faced some of the issues early in his career in Boston.
Reply paul
12:39 PM on August 19, 2013 
There will be some great reunions in coming decades. They'll make Ray crawl back though - somehow!
Reply Morena
4:25 PM on August 19, 2013 
Yeah, this was really great to hear from Pierce.
He was hurt by the trade for sure, but he took it like a real pro e didn't take his anger over the guy that will take his place as new leader of the team.
I've been hard on Pierce in the past, but I really like the way he handled himself since the trade
Reply rcraig617
3:29 PM on August 21, 2013 
This should be proof that paul was supportive of rondo in boston. Kinda makes me reminisce about all those trailing 3's that paul would hit at the top of the key on the break from a rondo pass I wish they actually meshed better on the court. Also this strikes me that pierce isn't saying negative things about rondo like how ray did when he left but when I think about it ray has been rondo's only former teammate to come out with something negative to say about him everyone else either doesn't talk about him or praises him. Also this makes me really think even more about why doc left if him and rondo's relationship was on the rise I really have no idea why he would even consider leaving boston.