May 21, 2024

Celtics

“We misplaced 18 straight video games, I simply needed alternative.”

Rajon Rondo finally performed 9 seasons with the Celtics. Jim Davis / Globe Workers

Rajon Rondo established himself as one of many high level guards in Celtics historical past throughout his 9 seasons in Boston.

Over 527 video games with Boston, Rondo gained an NBA title (2008), earned 4 All-Star nods, 4 All-Defensive Group choices and ranks third in franchise historical past in steals (990) and fourth in assists (4,474).

However the former All-Star admitted throughout a current look on JJ Reddick’s “The Previous Man and the Three” podcast that he initially needed to ask for a commerce out of Boston within the midst of his rookie 12 months with the workforce in 2006-07. 

Regardless of Rondo’s potential as an efficient ground basic and playmaker, Rondo noticed restricted time on a Celtics workforce that went 24-58 that season.

Whereas issues improved the next offseason when Danny Ainge acquired each Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, Rondo admitted that his first foray within the NBA was typically a wrestle.

“I all the time believed in myself and I believed within the work I put in and simply prepared for the chance as a result of the 12 months earlier than I used to be asking for trades,” Rondo mentioned of his shifting fortunes in his first two seasons with the Celtics. “We misplaced 18 straight.

“Wait, you requested for a commerce your rookie 12 months,” Reddick interjected.

“I felt like, we misplaced 18 straight video games, I simply needed alternative,” Rondo defined. “Doc [Rivers] would inform me issues after which come recreation time, it wouldn’t occur. I used to be annoyed in that course of.

“Coming from Kentucky, I wasn’t accustomed to dropping like this. I needed to assist the workforce so on daily basis in apply I’d bust my butt, attempt to determine it out and nonetheless wasn’t producing within the recreation or wasn’t getting an opportunity to supply in a recreation. I used to be asking for commerce, I’m glad I didn’t clearly.”

Rondo added: “I didn’t really go to the entrance workplace however I talked to my agent Invoice Duffy and my mentor Doug Bibby. They advised me, ‘The cream rises to the highest.’ I used to be in commerce talks with Minnesota that summer time for KG.

“Fortunately, I didn’t go and I used to be lucky to remain there. Going into that summer time, I simply needed to work my butt off, attempt to get higher every day, talked to numerous completely different gamers and mentors about be a greater participant and be a pacesetter at such a younger age. I’d attempt to win these guys over.”

Rondo’s persistence paid off.

As one of many few younger property who wasn’t dealt to both Seattle or Minnesota within the Allen/Garnett blockbuster trades, Rondo rapidly established himself as the start line guard on the 2007-08 Celtics squad that gained 66 video games en path to the franchise’s seventeenth championship.