NBA / Jun 24, 2009 / 1:56 pm

The Celtics’ problems with Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo (photo. Christian Kozowyk)

Rajon Rondo (photo. Christian Kozowyk)

If you’re just watching the games, you’ve got to be wondering why on Earth the Celtics are even considering trading Rajon Rondo. The 23-year-old already has one championship ring as Boston’s starting point guard, and in this year’s playoff run, showed his potential as a true franchise player, becoming a triple-double machine and someone who can take over a game when needed.

So why do you keep hearing that the Celtics are offering Rondo in trades and that they aren’t exactly eager to sign him to a long-term extension this summer? In a radio interview that was recapped in the Boston Globe, Danny Ainge shed some light:

“We expect [Rondo] to play by the rules and be a leader as a point guard. We need him to be more of a leader,” Ainge said. “There were just a couple situations where he was late this year, I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but showed up late and the rest of the team was there. We have team rules and you have to be on time. He was fined for being late, he said he was stuck in traffic, and it’s just unacceptable.”

Ainge was also critical of Rondo’s play during the Celtics’ second-round loss to the Magic.

“As we saw in the Orlando series, they left him wide open,” Ainge said. “His presence hurt us in winning right now because his man went and doubled onto Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and made it difficult for us.”

Ainge said Rondo wasn’t “that disruptive of a player,” but that he still hasn’t fully matured.

“He’s got to grow up in some cases, and I think he is, too,” Ainge said. “Slowly but surely Rondo is maturing. He’s getting a little bit more control over his emotions and he’s responding in a more positive way as he gets older and more mature in the league. We certainly would not trade him because of those things. We really need him as our point guard to be a leader than someone who thinks more of himself at times.”

Ainge added that the Celtics aren’t actively trying to unload Rondo, but with the above comments, plus ESPN’s report that Doc Rivers called Rondo “stubborn” and “impossible to coach,” it’s obvious he’s far from untouchable.

What do you think the Celtics should do with Rondo?

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  • Scott

    Wow. This kid is still on his rookie contract, and by all means dominated stretches of games where neither Ray or Paul really showed at times, yet he’s gettin called out like that. I’m not a huge Rondo supporter, but I can see what he did for the Celts last year. You’d think that Ainge should’ve kept this behind closed doors. Especially the being late twice, that shit just sounded like he was picking on the kid.

  • hahns

    WOW. FINALLY someone being honest about trade rumors!

    VERY refreshing to hear for once- but at the same time, now i know why teams keep such a tight lid on these things. by ainge saying all those things, doesnt he drop rondo’s trade value a couple notches?? they’re gona get 75cents on the dollar now

  • karizmatic

    I keep hearing rumors from different people (some people who claim to be close to what the Celtics are doing) that the Celtics are trying to trade both Rondo and Allen and that these trades will happen sooner rather than later. If this is true, it’s a shame because I would have liked to see them stay together for one more championship run.

  • x0t

    that shirt is sick. it says “strange fruit” at the bottom

  • http://www.WeAllScheme.com Jeff

    wow who would of knew? it always seemed like rondo was a stand up kid…as a c’s fan i hope he stays in boston for his career. he’ll b the “franchise” player that is the connecting bridge between the celtic’s future and the celtic’s now especially once the big three are out of their prime.

  • bobby s

    lotta talent but he’s too immature

  • Kudabeen


    To air Rondo out like this doesn’t help his value and it if he is sensitive to criticism does this help? I guess they don’t care, but singling him out as the cause of the issues they had vs Orlando is lame. Ray Allen couldn’t buy a bucket and he missed open shots. Pierce looked really fatigued and wasn’t attacking either. Orlando was just fresher and more dynamic a group in the end.

    I’m all for it criticism, but don’t give me he was the one that hurt us in the Orlando series when the team gives up over 100 a game. I’m not saying that Rondo’s lack of a J is excusable, but really. dude balled this playoffs. His worst game in the series they won.

    I guess Ainge is the boss, so he can say what he wants.

    Speaking of The Boss:

    Still funny as hell to me.

  • 45%

    damn… stubborn and uncoachable. really. i am a big rondo supporter.thats shocking to me.

  • madmax

    he a tripple double beast…why trade him? build around him…but anyway if i was to trade him I’d try to get a good first round pick and get flynn or jennings

  • hahns

    its true though, rondo’s J is WACK. when you know someones driving to the hoop no matter what- its much easier to defend. and yes, its still true that boston had many more problems (no bench production, ray allen going cold, pp fatigue, no bigs)

    rondo was ballin during the bulls series, but during orlando, all he did was crash his way to the hoop and draw fouls. pg’s are suppose to dictate the flow of the game, and if all hes doing is stopping play and heading to the line, its hard to get any rhythm.

    i think rondo is a little overhyped. i dont think he’ll be an allstar caliber player- which isnt to say they should trade him or that his game is ass- its just that hes not gona lead the c’s to a chip by himself, w/o signiicant help

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    cant hate on Ainge too much, you guys gotta realize he HAD to say something …how else do you explain trading away a “franchise” point guard?

    being late is probably the least of the organizations complaints. by minimizing Rondo’s problematic he lets other teams think theyre not getting that much of a headcase

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    *problematic issues

  • Phillyfanatic

    I like Rondo and I applaud DA for being honest about why Rondo’s name has been in the rumor mill. Unless Rondo spends the entire summer in the gym shooting nothing but jumpshots, I think this will be a good look for the Celts.

    Rondo’s lack of confidence in his jumpshot hurt them in the playoffs and if you have 3 superstars who demand a double team at any given time, you have to have a PG who can shoot the ball with confidence.

  • the cynic

    someone tell Rivers and Ainge they would have been out of a job without Rondo

  • boogey banger

    You gotta be kidding me, trade Rondo and Allen? DA drop the pipe and move away from the crackhouse slowly. I can only think off a handful of pg’s I would like to have for the next 3-5 years – C Paul, D Williams,D Rose, R Rondo & T Parker are at the top of the list. If anything the first two guys on the list prove that a good pg can make a mediocre team good. If anything DA should be answering questions about why Veal, House and Tony Delk (sorry I meant Allen)are on the books for 8-9 million. I would rather have 3 dudes from the Y and some extra cap space.

  • Kobeef

    I think this might be a case of “trade high”.
    After the last playoffs, where Rondo was the most effective Celtic in most of the games, his value can’t get much higher.

    If Ainge thinks Rondo is overhyped, now is the time to move him…or at least it is better than trying to move him after you give him a massive contract and you realize you made a mistake (see Cory Maggette in GS)

  • Promoman

    This sounds suspect. I can understand the team rules and such, but Rondo didn’t do anything on the Iverson level. I think there’s even more to the story.

  • Sanpitch

    thanks danny ainge for shedding some light on this guy. rajon rondo is one of the most overhyped players in the league behind cp3 and bynum.

    i disagree with the statement, “…showed his potential as a true franchise player, becoming a triple-double machine and someone who can take over a game when needed.”

    it ain’t too hard to balloon up your numbers when you are unguarded 85% of the time. you obviously are going to double team kg, paul, or allen with rondo’s guy. throw rondo on any team that without kg, paul, or allen and he is just another “hustle” pg. the kid makes my jumper look smooth as butter.

    rondo has a long way to go before he becomes a “true franchise player”. let’s see him put on an all-star jersey first.

  • Sanpitch

    i agree with post 16. trade him while value is high and YOU aren’t stuck overpaying him.

  • flegman

    go ahead, trade your future. Stick with the best player of the world and his pitbulls. This means Lakers in 2010, again. Celtics sux.

  • Lee

    So much for ubuntu.

  • Claw

    The kid is 23 and was late a couple of times, wow, that’s terrible how many other players were late through an entire season, sh*t happens and you have no control over that.

    Ainge was almost run out of town before he lucked into those trades with KG (former teamate McHale hooking him up) and Seattle just unloading players. He sucked before in acquiring FAs and coaches. If Doc can’t coach the kid and him being a former PG, I would almost say Doc better step up his own game. Rondo isn’t a franchise player but played well on both sides of the ball in the playoffs and was more than servicable, the dude almost averaged a triple double.

    Trade him back to the Suns that originally drafted him, you can have Nash who can’t guard a stop sign.

  • Rafa23

    @ sanpitch
    you might balloon your scoring when your unguarded, but almost averaging a triple double? not so much

  • hahns

    bottom line is that for all of rondo’s weaknesses- its no worth it to trade him. boston is built on defense, and thats what rondo brings to the table w/ his 7foot wingspan.

    shore up your bench a little and boston is right back in contention. remember, powe and kg were both out during the playoffs- 2 bigs that were huge contributors during their ’08 run.

    and as much as i cringe to say this….veal gave some very good minutes in the playoffs this year. he needs to know his role a little better, but the guy can shoot a 3

  • lifep

    really…I mean really Celtics..so you air out Rondo after he carried you all year…really

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  • http://www.CalmYoSelf.com Kermit the Washington

    Something’s missing…this just doesn’t add up.

    Ainge said: “There were just a couple situations where he was late this year.”

    WOW. How horrible.

    Are you SERIOUS? That’s IT?? That CAN’T be it. Something shady is going on definitely.

  • QQ

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  • http://www.CalmYoSelf.com Kermit the Washington

    I think it’s pretty clear now that Rondo was the one that made that team move. When the superstars were bugging out (which happened quite a few times) it was Rondo who righted the ship on the court and kept the offense movin’. You take him out, and you’re gonna have to reach REEEEAL deep to get someone who can do the same thing. Now you just got Marbury and House LOL.

  • http://www.CalmYoSelf.com Kermit the Washington

    QQ is drunk.

  • zmafuel

    Danny, why didnt you also mention that time when he was practicing with his shoe laces untied?

  • http://www.CalmYoSelf.com Kermit the Washington

    Now Ainge is saying this:

    “But the notion that we might be trading [Rondo] because of his contract situation, I’ve heard speculation, or that we’re dissatisfied with him, or his attitude. I mean, that stuff is so false. He showed up late for a playoff game, so we’re going to trade him – none of those things are true.”


  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Interesting. Rondo was getting all the love when they won the championship and was hailed as the difference maker often for how he held down the pg position.

    One year they don’t repeat and now all the sudden dude is stubborn and uncoachable and a liability. Nawww I ain’t even feeling that.

    They are ok and the Celts just need to get some more bench pieces but really they were right there and that was without KG. So they need to stop with the Rondo biz and just get KG at full speed and get some key bench pieces and they should be vs Magic, Cavs or Bulls for that Eastern Conference Final possibly.

  • 17 banners

    “”We love Rajon,” Ainge said. “I think everybody knows how good of a player he is and what sort of a bright future he has. It’s amazing, I hope each one of you can maintain your integrity through this world of media that we live in – it doesn’t even seem like you have to have any kind of source anymore, you just write stuff and print stuff, and things can just come out of the air.”

    Hey Dime I’m a little mad at you for blowing this up from an interview that really had quite the opposite message from DA. 1/2 mad because you scared the crap out of me and 1/2 mad because you guys have a better standard for content than Nancy Grace style conjecture and misinterpretation. But I guess you pumped up some pageviews…

  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    trade him to atlanta! LOL

  • UncheckedAggression

    I think the only reason Ainge and them would say something like that is to send Rondo a message. If they really meant to deal him, it seems like they wouldn’t air all this shit out.

    I guess we’ll see what happens. I’ll be surprised if they do trade him. I think that would be a sign that it’s a much worse situation than even they have let on.

  • Mr. TKO

    The way I see it, Ainge coming out and explaining a few issues isn’t going to affect Rondo’s trade value at all, because The teams doin the trades, are all associates, former coworkers and old buddies. So they would know all this already and if they didn’t, all they would have to do is ask someone what Rondo’s real personality is like. I think Ainge is just coming out to explain a lil bit of what’s going on behind the scenes, so that if something does end up poppin off, We the Fans (GO Lakers!!!) will have a better understanding and not crucify him as much. Just like when Lebron first came into the League and played for USA, some league people knew that he was stuck up and a semiuncoachable person at first, the league people knew but they kept that low key so that the general fans wouldn’t know.

    So this whole situation is just to put a lil pressure on Rondo to shape up, and it’s also just letting us know what some of their problems are just in case something ends up happening on the trade front.

  • Pia
  • Britt

    I love the Celtics and I love Rondo but he really does have a big ego. And his attitude is bad too. As hard as it would be, I think Doc should find a way to sit him out more to make him realize, if he doesn’t get his attitude together, he won’t be playing. That’s what I’d do and that’s my best solution. Playing basketball isn’t just about skill, it’s about respect and sportsmanship too. I’m a 7th grade girl and I know that. I always listen to and respect my coaches, like them or not. He should know better. If you get a foul and the ref didn’t say anything, shake it off don’t make a scene. Don’t talk back to anyone. He’s just full of himself at times and he does seem immature at times but I definitely wouldn’t say he’s immature constantly. So anyway, it may hurt the Celtics if Doc cut Rondo’s time(which is not cool)but if he gets his attitude together he’ll be and overall better and more respected and appreciated part of the Celtics. If not, then Rondo has a heavy burden on his shoulders knowing that he’s letting his team down. His mentality or mindset is telling him that he’s so great and vital to the Celtics so he can slack off. He has to overcome that to be a better player and to not be a negative topic of conversation amongst the team. I really do hope Rondo learns because I don’t want him to continually be known as the cocky player who feels superior to everyone because that’s where he’s positioned right now, even in the eyes of his own team. Get it together Rondo!