Given all the attention that we've given Rondo recently, I wouldn't be posting yet another Rondo post without new, interesting information. But I wanted to share some of the quotes from the ESPN the Magazine article by Ric Bucher and I don't think it is available online unless you have ESPN Insider. First of all, if you have a chance, please, please read the whole article because quotes just don't give you the full story. With that said, I'll be giving you the quotes without much commentary to let you draw your own conclusions.
Near the beginning of the article, Bucher describes a sit down meeting Rondo had with Doc after they were eliminated from the playoffs last June.
the coach asked: "Do you think your teammates like playing with you?"
Now if you recall, three seasons ago, Doc was a little more straightforward with Rondo saying "Do you know your teammates hate playing with you?" At the time, "his coach's comments left him struggling to breathe" but it seemed that he had put that behind him. So it must have been hard hearing it come up again.
Here was Rondo's reaction this past June.
"I thought so," was all Rondo could muster.
Rivers didn't press. He knew the question would get Rondo thinking, analyzing. Because that's what he does. It's the secret to his success and, maybe, the reason behind Rivers' insinuation. No one is harder on Rondo than Rondo. And when the young playmaker rewound the season, he paused on a few sidelong glances and not-quite-heard whispers. Just like that, the playground ghosts were back. Rondo had chalked up the disappointing season to complacency after a title or capitulation following Kevin Garnett's knee injury. He never imagineed that anyone would see him as the problem. "That," he says "was like a stab in the back."
The article goes on to talk about offseason rumors and Danny's statement that Rondo "had to grow up."
At one point during the offseason Ainge also let it be known that Rondo was late for a shootaround before a game in the playoffs. This article gives details. It was before game 1 of the Magic series. He left his house at the normal time (5PM) and hit "a wall of unexpected traffic."
Doc was halfway through his pregame talk when Rondo arrived. His routine in shambles, so too was his first half. He missed his first six shots as the Magic built an 18 point halftime lead. Rivers lit into him at the break, and rondo nearly finished with a triple-double. But the Celtics lost the game, homecourt advantage and, maybe, the series - all because Rondo was late.
Here are some more assorted quotes that you might find interesting.
"We don't have to be best buddies to win a championship."
And only now is he promising to stop warming up with his laces untied, claiming he was unaware coaches saw it as disrespectful.
"I didn't have that meeting for him to talk," the coach says. "He needed to hear about some things." Things like his late arrival to the first game against the Magic in the conference semis, his body language and loss of focus, his speaking up at the wrong timje - or not speaking up enough. Still, Rivers is very clear. "This isn't a Rondo issue, it's a young-player-chasing-a-contract, celebrity-and-endorsements issue," he says. "What he can't forget is the basketball chase."
"If I part with the Celtics, they'll realize what they passed on," he says. "A team that wants me, that's where I want to be."
The obsessiveness shows most, though, after he commits some on-court blunder. “He doesn’t want to be bothered, because he’s processing what he did wrong,” Bibby says. “By the time you rip him, he’s figured it out.” Problem is, in the NBA three plays have transpired during the processing, three plays during which Rondo is in his own penalty box and Boston is playing a man down. “You’re playing mad,” Rivers has told him more than once. “Get past mad. It’s killing you, and that’s killing us.”
Just a very interesting and revealing article all around. Again, read the article if you have a chance. There are quotes from his brother and coaches from high school and college that give good insight to his personality (not surprising, he's bright, stubborn, and a little obsessive compulsive).
The article ends on a positive note. Hinting that maybe Rondo is starting to "get it."
Everyone is leaning back, laughing and joking. Everyone except Rondo. He's leaning forward, all in, the joy of being part of this exclusive club leaking out in the form of a rare smile, not a ghost to be seen.