BOSTON (CBS) — On Monday night against the Bulls, Rajon Rondo will not suit up. He’ll rest his surgically repaired knee on the second half of the back-to-back, as he has all season when the Celtics play on consecutive days.
In a change of pace though, the point guard will not be on the bench with his teammates for the contest. And don’t worry, he won’t be celebrating his birthday in Los Angeles either.
Instead, Rondo will join CSNNE’s play-by-play man Mike Gorman and provide color commentary for the first quarter of the Bulls game in what should be an entertaining pairing for fans.
After the game last night, Rondo admitted that trying out commentary was his idea.
“Yeah it was [my idea],” Rondo said. “It’s something different. It was the one night I was actually watching the game, the replay of the game, I was pretty fascinated by how good Mike [Gorman] and Tommy [Heinsohn] are. I figured I wasn’t doing anything in the back-to-back of the Chicago game. I told Mike, and he took it from there.”
Gorman appeared to do a good job convincing head coach Brad Stevens to give Rondo the green light to take part, as Stevens gave his stamp of approval on the move before last night’s game.
“I was approached about that, because he doesn’t play the second of back-to-backs,” Stevens said. “Mike actually approached me a couple weeks ago about it — and I think it’s great. I think he’s going to do a quarter or a half, or something like that. Should be good insight.”
Heinsohn has not traveled on the road this year with the team, which has caused CSNNE to have a rotating cast on color commentary alongside Gorman all year, featuring names like Cedric Maxwell, P.J. Carlesimo, Jackie MacMullan and Bill Simmons. Rondo is the next name you can add to that list.
So what exactly inspired Boston’s captain to try his hand in the TV booth? Is this something he could see himself doing when his playing days are over?
“No. Just thought it would be something fun to do,” Rondo explained. “I’ve been knowing Mike and Tommy for every year, ever since I’ve been here, and those guys have always been generous to me. I’ll get a chance to do something different, have a little fun with Mike. I know Tommy won’t be there.”
Even if Rondo is just doing it for fun, Stevens likes the fact that the captain is interested in trying out a variety of different roles around the game that could come in handy down the line.
“Right now he’s a professional basketball player, but in 10-12 years he won’t be. And so what does he do from there? These are all great opportunities for him to grow and maybe find something that down the road that he likes to do. We’ve talked about coaching, we’ve talked about things. I think it’s great when these guys start thinking like that and want to participate in things like that,” Stevens said.
So what exactly can we expect from Rondo once he’s on the air? Good perspective probably, but the point guard knows he will have to tread carefully when talking about Stevens’ game plan and plays.
“I’m not going to give up any of [Brad’s] secrets. I’m still working on that. I don’t want to get caught up in the moment. I should be pretty harsh on Chicago and other guys that are on the court with those guys,” Rondo said.
“He knows he can’t give too much insight,” Stevens warned. “We’ll go over all the rules on Monday in pretty good detail. He’ll be really good. People will be really interested to hear what he has to say.”
With the broadcast just days away, Rondo has one goal in mind.
“I’m going to be just like Tommy,” the point guard joked.
Monday night, we’ll find out if he can meet those lofty standards.
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