|Posted by shawn cassidy on July 20, 2013 at 6:50 PM|
It's become apart of the norm to single out Rondo. Ray Allen's departure form the Celtics triggered many rumors surrounding their relationship. As Ray had a parting shot for the point guard through various sources. A story leaked the day before Doc's trade to the Clippers, saying that Doc went after Rondo during practice. Doc didn't say anything negative towards Rondo during interviews after the trade, but one can assume that Rondo would take it to heart that Doc chose to win with a rival point guard across country. Then there was KG and Pierce.
It took a long hard phone call to KG for Pierce to convince 'The Big Ticket' to move on from Boston. As they say. 'the writing was on the wall' for change. I think it's been obvious for years that KG and Rondo share a brotherly bond. One moment sticks out to me. It was in 2012's Eastern Conference Finals. KG performed one of his ultimate gestures towards the fans, signaling that he was okay after being hit hard to the ground by a gang of Heat players. The gesture was more than a few pushups on his knuckles. A couple of games later Rondo did the same. After being rocked to the ground, Rondo didn't do it as intense, but the message was received. Although Pierce, and Rondo never fully blossomed on the court. There was nothing made public about their relationship. Here's what KG and Pierce told Rondo as they departed the C's.
KG on Rondo:
"This whole transition, man, we came in as strangers and bonded as brothers," said Garnett, a person whom Rondo has previously suggested was his closest friend on the team. "And I say that with Glen [Davis], Kendrick [Perkins], Tony Allen, with Eddie House and [James Posey], just a connection with what it is.
"When Ray [Allen] left [for Miami last summer] it was hard for everybody there. We saw Doc [Rivers] leave [for Los Angeles last month], that blew us out of the water. It's kind of like looking up at the wave coming. And now we're here so I can only imagine what 'Do's [Rondo] going through. Obviously, I reached out to him, told him what I was going to do or whatever. I'm sure he's dealing with whatever he's dealing with, obviously he's trying to get back with [rehabbing from ACL surgery in February].
"Whatever that whole universe and his world is presenting to him... It's unfortunate. I had to take away that, what you have established as a brother and as a brotherhood amongst each other, is what you take away from it. Although I'm losing a teammate, I have a friend for life. And that's how I look at it."
Pierce on Rondo:
"Right now, he's injured and I told him this is probably going to be the toughest year of your whole career, mentally and physically," said Pierce. "Physically, you're dealing with an injury. Mentally, you know nothing but winning since you came into the league... You may be put in a situation where you may not win a lot of games. You have to be a leader now, you know me and Kev are not there anymore.
"You have to go through these times. I've been through them. I explained to him how I went through it. I feel like, I'm one of the best players in the league and now... [Rondo is] going to be in that situation for maybe one year or two years, who knows? But you have to be mentally prepared for it, and that's some of the things we talked about."
Rondo isn't perfect, but a lot of the negative stuff written about him is exaggerated and blown out of proportion. He's an easy target in my book. Rondo's passion to win may get the best of him. He's a lot like the player Ainge was in many ways. Danny had many altercations, and was fiery and competitive through his playing days. KG is much of the same, and that's why KG gets Rondo. As for Pierce, and Rondo's relationship. We don't know much about it, but is that a bad thing? It wasn't long ago, before Pierce conformed and won a title with two other All-Stars,and that he was the one in Rondo's shoes before winning a ring. He was often picked apart in Boston, for being immature,and a poor leader. Pierce can relate to Rondo, as Rondo was given the torch by the media. Rondo has been the best in green probably since he drove this team to a Finals bid in 2010. But the poor guy was overshadowed by hall of fame players.
I'm sure in that 90 minute phone call, KG questioned leaving Rondo behind. For any of you who have little brothers, and even sisters. It's hard leaving them behind, no matter how old you are. You want to protect them no matter what, even though they can protect themselves. The time is now for Rondo. He has two years remaining on his contract, and he's coming back from a major surgery. Paul is right, Rondo is on a team that won't win 50 games this season, and maybe not even 41 games. Things will get dark in Boston, before the light peaks through on a proud franchise who expects to win banners. I think Rondo's brothers, have shown him how to win, and how to lead. It's up to him to move on, and to lead this team back to glory.
The problem isn't Rondo and teammates, it's much bigger than that. Sometimes people need someone to knock down, and Rondo has become that. It's a much better story for someone to write how bad of a person is compared to something more positive. Teammates come to the aid of Rondo. Ray was an incident that happened, it doesn't mean the world. You won't become friends with everyone. But Rondo has become friends with many of his teammates. Ask Perk, Sully, Bradley,and Lee that.