Rondo organized full Celtics team practices in L.A.

"Rondo has been great, just terrific this summer," Rivers said. "He reached out to all the players and got every single one of them to fly to L.A. and practice together. They put in about four or five hours a day. Paul and KG were already out there, but Rondo got Jason and Courtney Lee and all the other guys on board too.

"He called and asked me what I thought of the idea. I loved it, especially because it was him that organized it."

The spirited practices at UCLA were useful not only because of all the new faces. They gave the players a chance to spend some time together away from Boston and reestablish some camaraderie.

This is the type of stuff you hear about when a championship DVD comes out. How the team bonded early. So far all the signs point to an extremely strong locker room this season. Big credit to Rondo for getting this done. Pierce and KG make their offseason homes in L.A, so it was a natural spot to have these practices. I like how the Celtics were scheming how to beat the Lakers in their own backyard. Nothing is guaranteed in basketball, but we could be looking forward to a special season.