The Boston Celtics are in rebuilding mode, and Rajon Rondo is the last piece from their 2008-2012 team that went to two NBA Finals, winning one in 2008. Rondo may stay and help rebuild with new coach, Brad Stevens, or Celtics GM Danny Ainge may trade him to acquire even more assets. But one place Rondo won’t bring his talents, is South Beach.
During a youth basketball summer camp in his native Lousiville, Kentucky, someone asked Rajon about his status with the Celtics. Rondo told his camp attendees “I’ll never play for the Miami Heat.” The reasons for his contempt concerning the back-to-back champs can be tied to his battles between the Celtics and Heat once LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the team in the summer of 2010, and his previous battles against LeBron with the Cavs.
James’ Heat defeated the Celtics in their first year after LeBron came on-board and largely because Rondo dislocated his elbow on a nasty fall with Dwyane Wade. Then, in 2012, Rondo led his aging Celtics teammates, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, to a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat. We all know what happened next.
LeBron James led the Heat to a Game 6 victory on Boston’s home-court with 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists, and they clinched the Eastern Conference in Game 7 before going on to defeat the Thunder in the Finals for James’ first title.
The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics haven’t been rivals for long, just since James joined. From 2008 to 2010, Rajon Rondo’s Celtics knocked James’ Cavs team out of the playoffs in both seasons they went to the NBA Finals: 2008 and 2010. So Rondo’s words to his campers would probably be echoed by Pierce and Garnett, thought notâ€”as we knowâ€”by teammate Ray Allen.
It remains to be seen what happens to Rondo this free agency period and going forward, as the Celtics look to rebuild with a younger core. But new head coach Brad Stevens, did tell ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg that he’s “really looking forward to working with him,” and Rondo’s “really, really intelligent, really, really insightful,” after the two met at Rondo’s camp in Louisville.
So it looks like he might be a part of the rebuilding mode, and it’ll be a Celtics team cast in Rondo’s quirky and challenging persona.
Do you think Rondo will remain with the Celtics and help them rebuild now that Pierce and Garnett are gone?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.