Maybe the claim that Rajon Rondo and Brad Stevens are best friends forever is a bit of an overstatement, but Rondo did say during Media Day that him and his new head coach are best friends right now.
Rondo on Stevens: We're 'best friends' - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston
"Me and Brad have become best friends," Rondo said. "We talk every day, we laugh and joke, we just had dinner the other night. I’m going to help him, he’s going to help me. He has my full support and I told him from Day 1 when he came to my [summer] camp [in Louisville in July for their first in-person meeting], I'm 100 percent behind him."
Rondo chuckled when told that some had wondered if the two could work together and noted how Stevens arrived at his Kentucky camp with no preconceived notions, just a desire for the two to lead the Celtics together.
"His communication lines have been great with me, ever since he became the coach," Rondo said. "He came to my camp the following week, or the same week he was hired. We spent some time together, about an hour and a half down at Kentucky. And ever since then he’s been texting me, he’s given me a couple books to read, he’s emailed me some things I should look up on YouTube. We’ve had lunch. We’ve had great communication so far.
"It was important for both of us to get off to a good start to get to know one another. This is his team, this is my team. Like I said, I’m very supportive of him, and he’s been very supportive of me."
So much for Rondo not getting along with a new coach, huh? Of course, the games still need to be played, but it's encouraging to know that their relationship is so strong at this point. Rondo also said that Stevens has recommended books for him to read and YouTube videos to watch. Oh, how I want to know what kind of videos Stevens sends Rondo.
Most importantly, Rajon Rondo appears to be well on his way to recovering completely from his torn ACL. Rajon says that he doesn't expect to return to the court until winter; though it's a possibility he does in the fall. He says that he understands that it's a long road to a full recovery, "When I'm mentally ready, I'll play. A lot of people gave Derrick Rose a lot of heat about not playing, whatever the case may be, but this injury isn't easy (to recover from). At the same time, it's more mental when you get around 10 or 11 months (through recovery), it's about feeling confident."
Rondo continued, "You want to feel confident, especially when you consider the type of players we are at point guard. Our legs are pretty much everything, we use our speed, he's (Rose) very athletic, I'm athletic. You need that mental aspect to go up and jump and come down without thinking about your leg again, because the last jump that I have done, I came down and torn an ACL. It's about being mentally ready. When I get there, I'll play."
When asked about what he can currently do when practicing on the court, Rajon said, "Well, I'm doing basketball things now." He smirked, "To what degree? Still no contact but I'm able to get on the court, work on my shot, work on my free throws, work on my ball-handling."
Rajon Rondo also gave a little bit of insight into what brand of basketball the Boston Celtics will play this season. At one point during the interview he said that he has been studying his teammate's games, including Avery Bradley and Jeff Green. On Green, Rondo had some interesting comments, "I know Jeff (Green) loves to get the ball off the rebound and go himself. When Jeff gets the ball this year, I'm just going to run the floor. He can bring it up himself. I think he's best when he's doing that at his position. Not a lot of guys can keep up with him athletically."
Hmm. With those comments, I believe the transition this season will be more seamless than I had expected. Without Rajon Rondo out, the team will be able to utilize a point forward (Gerald Wallace or Jeff Green), if they rebound the ball, instead of rushing the ball to the point guard. Once Rondo returns, that will continue.