|Posted by shawn cassidy on October 10, 2013 at 5:10 AM|
The Celtics needed a mentor on their team this season, and who's better than Rondo to fill that role while he's rehabbing? He's a honest guy who won't take any thing less than his teammates best. Rondo has turned this negative time in his life into something more. He hasn't been a victim to his injury, he's out there, and he's pitching in with his young squad.
During this process, we've seen Rondo on our TV sets. He's been alongside new head coach Brad Stevens. Their relationship is growing day by day. I don't think they have been blowing smoke about their relationship. I think Rondo is taking an opportunity to teach the young point guards for the fact that he's never had a true backup.
Rondo has been worked to the bone in past years, and I think he needs someone who can truly back him up when he comes back.
"He’s welcomed me with open arms," said Taylor. "I think him being a veteran in the league, a point guard – the most important position on the floor – he just wants to make sure all the point guards, myself, Pressey, know the offense since we’re new in the NBA."
The Celtics are now Rondo's team. The last remaining member of the 2008 championship squad, he is no longer a youngster looking up to his elder teammates. Instead, he is a go-to veteran on a recently overhauled roster, especially for point guards.
Pressey, 22, grew up watching Rondo. He was familiar with the organization through his father's tenure as an assistant coach for the Celtics, but the relationship was different once Pressey signed with the team. That voice that he had heard from a distance was now speaking directly to him.
"[The first time he offered me advice] was pretty cool," said Pressey. "He teaches me how to control the game, what I should be doing on the offensive end, how to run the plays. Every little thing I do, he’s in my ear trying to tell me the right thing to do."
At 29, Taylor is older than Rondo in years yet younger in NBA experience. Rondo's vocal guidance is helping Taylor, who had been playing in Europe, get acclimated in the league. Taylor knew he wouldn't be able to learn from Rondo in preseason games because of his injury, and his close attention is proving just as valuable.
"Coming in, I just wanted to pick his brain a little bit and see how he’s become one of the top point guards in the league," said Taylor. "If I’m not calling out the plays, [he is] making sure me being the point guard knowing where the other four players should be on the floor. He’s pointing it out to me during practice, yelling at me while I’m practicing or if I’m on the sidelines. It’s not in a negative way; it’s just critiquing and doing what a leader should do."
Both point guards welcome the positives and negatives with open arms. Feedback is part of the learning process, a process that can be accelerated when receiving guidance from one of the best at his position.
Last season Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds a game before injuring his ACL. He led the league in assists per game the previous two seasons and ranked top in steals in 2010.
"I think with him, he’s more hands-on with me and Phil because we’re new to the league," said Taylor. "I see him talking to Jordan [Crawford]] and especially Avery (Bradley) because Avery played a lot of the point guard last year when he was hurt. He’s just trying to help guys get better every day, especially at that position."
Pressey has been impressed by the way Rondo advises every member of the team, regardless of their role on the court or experience.
"He’s a superstar but he treats everybody like they’re a rookie," said Pressey. "When I say rookie I don’t mean like they’re younger, but he’s trying to make sure everybody knows what they’re doing from me all the way up to Kris Humphries."
When it became clear that the ship was sinking, and the passengers and crew were at death’s brink. A great pilot would rescue all the passengers and the rest of the crew before he would save himself. I think Rondo's one quality that's over looked often is how unselfish he is. I don't understand why it's over looked. He's a damn point guard.
When we hear stories like this or, when we see quotes from teammates like this. Do we even need to ask the question who is the Celtics leader?