Rajon Rondo on departures of Rivers, Garnett and Pierce: ‘I didn’t feel anything’
The Boston Celtics experienced a dramatic shakeup in its roster this offseason. Not only did Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were traded to the Brooklyn Nets, the team lost its longtime leader, Doc Rivers, who made way to the west coast for a head coaching job with the Los Angeles Clippers.
But to ask Rajon Rondo, still recovering from ACL surgery, such a tumultuous turn of events related to the makeup of the roster and coaching staff was a minor blip on his radar. In fact, Rondo claims to have scarcely noticed it.
Rondo was evasive when asked about when he expects to return to the court during Celtics’ media day on Monday, only saying that he expects to return at some point during the 2013-14 season, but did not hesitate in his attempt to quell any conjecture that he is a lost soul in the NBA wilderness as he looks around at his Celtics teammates and coaching staff completely changed over after losing two players and a coach with whom he won an NBA title.
“It wasn’t difficult at all,” said the recovering Rondo as quoted on Celtics Blog. “I didn’t feel anything. I actually landed in LA the night of the draft. I had 45 text messages come through the phone. I thought I was traded.
“It’s not the first teammates that I’ve been close to who were traded away — Perk, Tony Allen. It’s part of the process. This is a fresh start for us, a new coach and a new team. I’m excited about the fresh start.”
Sure, it’s a fresh start for Rondo and the entire Celtics organization, but that does not mean it was a welcome fresh start by any stretch of the imagination.
But Rondo insists that he’s moved on, even claiming that he and new head coach Brad Stevens may in fact be kindred spirits.
Rondo credits the fact that Stevens showed up at his basketball camp in Kentucky earlier this summer, saying that between texting nightly and emails that a quick bond has developed between the two.
“Me and Brad have become best friends,” said the Celtics point guard. “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.”
And even though he feels a closeness to his new coach, Rondo concedes that the time he spends with Stevens may be short-lived, given that there is a chance he still could be traded.
“Those are things that are out of my control,” said Rondo. “I don’t tend to worry about those things.I have to live my life. Whatever the case may be, whenever that may happen, that’s what will happen. But until then, I’m a Celtic, and I’ll play as hard as I can for this organization.”
But let’s be honest, despite nurturing a friendship with his new coach, there is no chance that Rondo “didn’t feel anything” as he claims when KG, Pierce and Doc Rivers headed elsewhere. Rondo spent a significant amount of time with those three — seven with Rivers and Pierce and six with Garnett. There’s no way that didn’t have some effect on him in some way, shape or form. And it would be perfectly understandable for him to feel something, whether it be bitterness, sadness, anger or otherwise.
[H/T Pro Basketball Talk]