There were some discussions in years past about when it the team would be "Rondo's team." As long as Pierce and Garnett were around, they could say all the right things and point to the point guard as much as they did, but it still wasn't legitimately his team alone. They were simply larger than life personalities that filled a room with their presence. Everything else around them kind of became noise.
Now it is unquestionably Rondo's team. He's the best player and he's a lot more talkative with his teammates than he is with the media. He and Brad Stevens will be the faces of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
But it is fascinating to see how some other guys are stepping up and moving out of the shadows. Avery Bradley is now the longest tenured Boston Celtic aside from Rondo. Brandon Bass and Jeff Green have been through a few rodeos and know what to expect and how to go about doing their jobs. Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, and Kieth Bogans are new to Boston but veterans in the NBA.
Essentially, the director of this show (Ainge) killed off some of the main characters Game of Thrones style and now some of the supporting actors have to step into lead roles.
"It feels good," Bass said of life after Allen, Garnett and Pierce. "It feels right. At some point those guys are going to retire, just like some other leaders on other teams. It was going to happen at some point."
Rondo is barking instructions from the sidelines and tutoring Phil Pressey. Bass is taking more of a leadership role on defense. Brad Stevens is experimenting with putting Jeff Green in just about every position on the court and Jeff seems excited about that.
During media day, Green talked about wanting the chance to be "that guy" on an NBA team. With all those guys who have been the guys with this franchise for so long gone, there is now that opportunity on this team, and Bass, Bradley, Green and Rondo all appear willing to seize it early in camp.
This is a good thing. There's a lot of growth potential here. Some may find out that they aren't cut out for a larger role, but in many cases I think we'll see guys step up and make progress. It doesn't mean they'll fully fill the shoes of the Hall of Famers. But the point of this year is to develop talent and advance our position. One of those talents is leadership. There are natural born leaders and there are guys that develop into that over time. We'll see who steps up and who fades back into the background.