Rajon Rondo the quiet leader of the Celtics?
Rajon Rondo has long been considered a supremely talented player who has an attitude problem. He was supposed to be the leader of the Celtics for the past few years, but there were reports saying Boston was considering trading him because he had become so difficult. He’s had several run-ins with referees, blowups at the media, and he notably struggled to get along Ray Allen last season. But an excellent column by Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston provides more insight into Rondo as a Celtics leader, and it suggests he finally is assuming the role for which he was pegged a few years ago.
MacMullan does some excellent reporting and is able to portray Rondo differently than almost anyone else previously has.
MacMullan, and the players whom she quotes on the record, say Rondo has been the glue for the Celtics’ younger players for years. He apparently was the leader of a clique of players on the team who became extremely close: Kevin Garnett, Chris Wilcox, Keyon Dooling (who retired), Marquis Daniels (now with Milwaukee), and Rondo. He also is said to be an excellent role model for Avery Bradley.
The column indicates that Rondo was more of a Celtics insider and Ray Allen more of an outsider last season than the other way around.
Keyon Dooling, who is obviously biased toward Rondon, says the reason Allen was portrayed positively and Rondo negatively is because of their respective relationships with the media.
“Ray had such a good relationship with all the reporters and Rondo was so quiet. So who gets all the good press?” he asked rhetorically.
“Sometimes it felt like Ray spent more time talking to the media than he did to his teammates,” Dooling told MacMullan.
Allen has moved on to Miami where he is much more welcomed by the Heat. Rondo appears to be developing into the true leader of the Celtics.
I wouldn’t say Rondo has been misrepresented in the past, but it sounds like he is finally maturing into a true team leader. You just wouldn’t ever hear him tell you that. Thankfully some excellent reporting is showing us that.