As has become tradition, the NBA season has begun with the ceremonial pulling of the ripcord on the Rajon Rondo Trade Machine. We’re getting to a Punxsutawney Phil level- Rondo pokes his head out, the national media demands information that will lead to a trade, and we get six months of professional basketball.
Where will Rondo land? What can Danny Ainge get for him once he’s back to an elite level? Why is he the last piece of the championship era still in Boston when he is the biggest chip we have? All questions being asked ad nauseam. The one question that matters was asked by Rondo himself: “Why would I want to leave?”
"It's a brand new start for us as a team," Rondo said.
"This is my team; why would I want to leave?" Rondo said. "Why would I want out? I've ever really backed away from a challenge."
In order for the Project: Reboot (that’s what I’m calling this season) to work, Ainge needed and continues to need buy in from all parties concerned. Rondo, seemingly, is all in. As the center piece of the franchise, Rondo considers the Celtics his team- a mantle that Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett anointed him two seasons ago. We all knew this was coming- and it’s a shame that the title of Leader is so closely followed with Tradable Asset.
Despite the constant chicken-heading of NBA insiders and experts, Rondo- like always- is firmly behind the Celtics. HIS Celtics.
"That's my natural instinct -- to make my teammates better," he said. "And regardless of who's out there on the floor, I believe I do make everybody out there better. I'm going to push as hard as I can. I'm going to demand a lot out of them. I wouldn't demand anything that I don't demand of myself."
It has been an interesting week, and it’s only Wednesday. Grantland’s Jalen Rose & “Clairvoyant” Bill Simmons, One of the loudest national supporters of the Celtics, have already forecasted the Rondo trade. Zach Lowe, Mark Stein, and anyone else with an NBA column is predicting less than zero from this version of the Celtics- suggesting that this is a tanking team masquerading as something different. As usual… someone forgot to tell Rondo and while I don’t know the man personally, I feel confident in saying that I can’t imagine he cares about all this jibber-jabber.
Rondo will answer all questions once he is back on the court wearing a green and white. Proudly displaying number 9 on a Celtics uniform that doubles for a suit of armor.
Source: Ken Berger; CBSSports.com
Photo: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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