January 14, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the first half against the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
In an interview with Jackie MacMullan, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce talked about how the offered advice to Rajon Rondo. With both of them going to the Brooklyn Nets and Doc Rivers now on the Los Angeles Clippers, Rondo is the only person left on the floor from the 2008 championship Celtics team.
The 27 year old point guard is the obvious face of the franchise now. He will bear the burden of carrying a franchise through some dark years otherwise known as a rebuilding process. Both Garnett and Pierce have experienced this burden before. It improved them as players and made them into the players that they are today. Here’s what they had to say about Rondo:
"This whole transition, man, we came in as strangers and bonded as brothers,And I say that with Glen [Davis], Kendrick [Perkins], Tony Allen, with Eddie House and [James Posey], just a connection with what it is….When Ray [Allen] left [for Miami last summer], it was hard for everybody there. We saw Doc [Rivers] leave [for Los Angeles last month], that blew us out of the water. It’s kind of like looking up at the wave coming. And now we’re here, so I can only imagine what Do’s going through. Obviously, I reached out to him, told him what I was going to do or whatever. I’m sure he’s dealing with whatever he’s dealing with, obviously he’s trying to get back with [rehabbing from ACL surgery in February]….Whatever that whole universe and his world is presenting to him… It’s unfortunate. I had to take away that, what you have established as a brother and as a brotherhood amongst each other, is what you take away from it. Although I’m losing a teammate, I have a friend for life. And that’s how I look at it.Kevin Garnett via ESPN Boston"
Garnett talked more about his relationship with Rondo and his relationship with those that he met through the Boston Celtics organization. He talked about viewing the transition as Allen left and then Rivers left. Paul Pierce talked more about what Rondo would see going forward through the rebuilding phase.
"Paul Pierce said he spoke with Rondo recently. “I told him this is probably going to be the toughest year of your whole career, mentally and physically. … You have to be a leader now…..You have to go through these times. I’ve been through them. I explained to him how I went through it. I feel like, I’m one of the best players in the league and now… [Rondo is] going to be in that situation for maybe one year or two years, who knows? But you have to be mentally prepared for it, and that’s some of the things we talked about.Paul Pierce via ESPN Boston"
These next few years will show us where Rondo truly ranks among the point guards in the NBA. Many have their doubts because he’s always played with Hall of Fame players. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. Rondo will either succeed in carrying a franchise and still be productive or his production will drop and we’ll see that the Big 3 did have a lot to do with his production.
Either way, this is going to be a challenge for him like Pierce said. All we can do is hope that he comes out on top.