While all this is happening, there is one member of the Boston Celtics organization who's stock appears to by slowly turning around. If you look closely, you can see an arc appearing that will help Rajon Rondo re-brand his image this summer.
By now we've experienced enough of Rondo to know he isn't the most pleasant human being on the basketball court. Even off the court, he has had issues with personality and maturity.
He's had problems with referees, whether bumping them or throwing balls at them. There is also the well-documented trouble with Ray Allen, which aided in some way Allen's departure to Miami.
Off the court there was the cameraman incident, which showed him at his worst behind the scenes.
The Kris Humphries fight he initiated for very little reason was just the latest example of Rondo flying off in hysterics of immaturity.
However, since he tore his ACL in the middle of the season, Rondo has been forced somewhat to realize his own mortality. He isn't invincible as a player, and that has to have given him some perspective on the type of player and person he has been throughout his career.
Since then, Rondo has been hard at work rehabilitating his image as much as his body. With many of his teammates embroiled in trade rumors, Rondo has the opportunity to relax and show a different side of himself this summer.
Rondo, for once, hasn't have much traction in the rumor mill lately. Maybe because of his injury, maybe not. Either way, someone got to him and has him doing a bunch of public appearances, which have been well-documented here on CelticsLife.
He made a guest appearance on Joan Rivers' Fashion Police. He was excellent on the show, cracking jokes alongside the comedic veteran. More than anything, Rondo showed a self-deprecating side that Boston fans have longed to see. He trashed one of his infamous former outfits, the one that he wore when he got in trouble with the cameraman.
Next came an entertaining spot with his long-time endorsement company Red Bull. Rondo has a secret talent as a Connect Four savant, which he displayed by defeating two opponents at once. This video shows Rondo quickly dispatching of two Red Bull journalists, "Bobby Fischer-style," as Brian Kamenetzky puts it.
We later find out in the same video series that he has very high algebra skills. Rondo explains this rumor started when he was visiting some kids at a local school and he beat them while solving a math problem on the board. Rondo subtly weaves in the storyline that had him visiting children at schools, showing more growth in his off-court persona.
Finally we have the recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Rondo wasn't being interviewed or anything like that, but he did participate in a segment called "Cousin Sal and Rajon Rondo: Fun With Fans." Rondo again shows a light-hearted and quirky side in messing with an autograph-seeking fan.
While we don't get a whole lot of Rondo in the skit, I'm sure that the plan down the line includes more interview-based appearances. He has used the early part of his offseason to create a base of comedic and approachable content, which will start weaning away all the negative clouds surrounding him.
This is all a positive step for Rondo's future in Boston, and one the franchise needs right now.
There is stil a ways to go in this path, and things ultimately won't be cured without actual on-court play. Rondo does appear to have realized that he may catch more flies with honey. One fly could be Josh Smith, who is good friends of the Celtics' star point guard and a free agent this summer.
If Rondo wants the Celtics to try and figure out a way to make a play for Smith, showing himself in a more pleasing light would be a great first step. It would hopefully start assuring them that he is responsible enough to lead this team into the future.
While Rivers, Garnett and Ainge are seeing their relationships with public fracture slightly, Rondo is working to gain our trust again.