|Posted by paul on September 30, 2013 at 3:35 AM|
I only have twitter quotes to go by so far, as I try to get a sense of what happened on Celtics media day, but judging by what I read on Twitter, Rondo sounds like a man who is finally truly coming into his own.
How a guy in Rondo's situation handles the media spotlight is a basic, but important thing. By itself, how Rondo handles the media pressure doesn't tell us if Rondo can shoot better, or how his knee is doing, but it can tell us something about the state of his evolution. I would say that, allowing for the skeletal nature of twitter quotes, the Rondo who appeared to the media today has evolved quite a bit. In the past, Rondo tended to use his laconic and acerbic way as a kind of wall. He seemed to frustrate media because he could do whole interviews without saying much at all. At times he could be very pithy, but mostly he seemed defensive. That seems to have changed. His comments today seem generally pithy. He said a lot with a little today. Without changing who he is, he seems to have found a way to embrace the media pressure that comes with being a star player, and maybe a superstar player.
Unlike Paul Pierce, Rondo didn't try to scribble any tear drenched novels about this summer's changes. Instead he hit a lot of points with few words. Asked how he felt about Pierce, KG and Rivers moving on, he said that he wasn't affected by it, that close teammates had been traded before. He also told a funny anecdote about receiving so many texts about the Brooklyn trade that at first he thought he was the one who had been traded. This, to my mind, is brilliant stuff. He's basically saying that he won't let it bother him the way he let the Perkins trade bother him. He's also acknowledging, in a humorous way, that he is aware that he could be traded at any time. Rondo commented that Rivers was hard on him, but also made him the player that he is, and followed this up by saying that Rivers had 'gone to LA, so that's that'. Here again I think Rondo answers a lot of questions that have been in the air in a few words. He's saying that there are two sides to the stories of conflict between him and Rivers. He's saying that he appreciates what he has learned from Rivers. He's saying that Rivers walked away.
Rondo seemed to sum it all up with the comment that he feels he has a 'fresh start', with a new team and a new coach, and he's looking forward to it. If this is a fresh start, it implies that things had gotten a little bit stale before. More and more people seem to be coming to that conclusion, that what basically happened this summer was that things had become stale and the time had come for a new start. My favorite thing about Rondo's comments today have to do with the new start. He makes it clear that he is open to doing whatever Stevens wants, but he also makes it clear that he is anticipating a very different kind of relationship with this coach, one that is more equal and collaborative, and he seems to feel that this new kind of relationship has already been well established. In brilliantly assertive turns of phrase, Rondo states that this team is his team, this team is Stevens' team; that Stevens has been supportive towards him and that he has been supportive towards Stevens. He says that Brad is his 'best friend', that they communicate every day, that Stevens has sent him books and videos, etc..
It's a bit strong for Rondo to call Brad his best friend. I assume that was said tongue in cheek. But the basic intention behind Rondo's words seems very very clear, and it's an intent I am very very glad to hear. It will drive the Haters crazy, though. Rondo makes it clear, without saying it in so many words, that he sees his relationship with Stevens as a collaborative relationship, a relationship between equals, a partnership. I'm glad he lays it on the line this way. If Stevens or Danny have a problem with that, then they can say something about it, or trade Rondo, or whatever. Hopefully they will not have a problem with it. I love it that there's nothing submissive about Rondo's attitude, but also nothing aggressive.
When asked about his return, Rondo says winter, maybe fall. I love that too. Some will surely say that it's vague and evasive. I think its clear. Rondo explains that part of what is involved is the mind. He says that you can't play the game while worrying about your knee. Regardless, he's not cleared for contact practice yet, it seems. He can shoot free throws.
Danny forgot himself and blurted out that Rondo is the captain, and then remembered himself and walked it back! That's good, but let's cut the crap and name him captain, please, and no co-captains, please.
Stevens says he wants a team with no defined positions. That's fine, but can we keep the ball in the hands of our best ballhandler, passer, penetrator, playmaker - perhaps one of the best all time? Please?
Good coverage and commentary by Jay King:
Categories: Rondo Ravings