It promises to be a long season and the team has already experienced a few losing streaks to start the season off. That has to be taxing on any team's chemistry. In fact, that is one of the main dangers of any rebuilding project. When "the kids" are playing and developing, how are the veterans going to take that?
But, as one league official noted prior to the start of the season, "The worry there is going to be unhappy veterans." It’s bound to happen once the losses start snowballing, and veterans continue to take a back seat to the kids. Ainge laughs at this so-called dilemma. "On every team in the NBA there’s unhappy players," the Celtics president of basketball operations said. "I’ve never been on a team where everyone is happy with their opportunities. "It’s not an ideal situation, and we knew that from the beginning. But it’s going to be hard for some guys with other guys in those jobs."
Sounds like there's at least one guy that is holding down the fort even though he hasn't touched the court in a real game yet. Jared Sullinger is singing Rondo's praise and saying that the point guard (who went through a year of rebuilding before seeing things turn for the better) will not let the lockerroom become divided.
"He's been very vocal," Sullinger said. "He's just telling guys it's a long season. Time will tell.
"As long as we stay together, we can win basketball games. But as soon as somebody splinters off, another's going to splinter off and then another's going to splinter off. Then all of a sudden we're not going to have a team. We're going to have 14 guys who are individuals.
"Rondo's been on us about this like every day. This is the same thing he did last year before he got hurt - and even after he got hurt he still stepped up and still helped out. Rondo's a special basketball player. Honestly I see a future for him being a coach because he sees everything out there."
Glad to hear that Rondo is stepping up his leadership game. The primary worry from many after The Trade was that Rondo would be disruptive or unhappy in some way. The assumption was that he would be traded which would have meant that he'd be moved for something less than he was worth.
So far those fears have all been unfounded as he seems to be in lockstep with his coach and his teammates. Danny has called him "our guy" and talked about building around Rondo. Of course only time will tell what the final verdict will be, but so far the early returns have been very positive.