So, all these rumors start pouring in pre-draft – as they always do – and now Rajon Rondo’s a hardheaded, unteachable curmudgeon that arrives late for games? That’s why all these stories leading up to the draft are so pointless. Two months ago when Rondo was averaging a triple-double against the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, people were including him among the best point guards in the game. Now, the Celtics wanna trade him? I find that extremely, extremely hard to believe. We’re talking about a 23-year-old who is just starting to get it – we have no idea how good he’ll be. Rondo joined WEEI to discuss how he’s handling with the rumors, if he is hard to deal with, if he shows up late for games, and his goals for next season.
How do you feel about the trade rumors with your name in them?
“I don’t think much of it. I’ve been in the gym everyday with the Celtics this offseason and I’m looking forward to doing great things next season, hopefully win a championship. So, if a trade happens, it happens, but I think we have a championship team here and I don’t think it’ll happen.”
On people giving him slack for showing up to the game only an hour before tip-off:
“Everyone has opinions. Actually, when I do come to games, usually I try to come to the games as late as possible ’cause I don’t like to come to the locker room and talk and waste time. When I come to the gym, I like to come right in, jump right in to my gear and go out and play. Different guys have different opinions on why they get to the game so early, some people like to shoot four hours before the game, I think Ray does that… Actually, when I come to the game I sit in the parking lot for like 30 minutes, run through my mind of how I wanna play. People assume I walk in the gym a little late…”
On the public talking about him being a stubborn guy:
“As far as attitude wise, I think I can be stubborn. I think that’s a great trademark for me because I love to compete so much, I love to win, I’m always studying the game and I’m a student of the game. So, point guard and the coach aren’t always gonna see eye to eye, at the end of the day, Doc (Rivers) and I have a strong relationship to where we do and we can talk to each other on and off the court. Like I said, each point guard, you go down the list, they’re gonna have conflicts, where I may disagree with what Doc says, but at the end of the day, as long as we’re on the same page, both trying to win and do what’s best for the team, that’s what it’s all about. Great players are gonna be stubborn at times, they’re not always just gonna be a ‘yes man’ or always go with the flow. To be a leader, you have to stand out on your own sometimes and do what you wanna do.”
What are your goals?
“I wanna be the best point guard in the league next season. I think I had a good playoffs and I wanna just continue to improve from there. I have a lot of expectations for myself and a couple of my teammates do as well. If I continue to put the work in, I’m sure eventually it’ll pay off. I think I’m, can be one of the best point guards in the league this fall, so, I’ve gotta continue to work.”