BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo made his debut on the broadcast desk on Monday night, calling the first half of Boston’s loss to the Chicago Bulls.
On the night the Celtics were officially eliminated from playoff contention, Rondo served as Comcast SportsNet New England’s color commentator next to mainstay Mike Gorman, giving fans his insight and a few stories throughout the 24 minutes of basketball.
The C’s guard, who has sat out the second half of back-to-back games this season while recovering from ACL surgery, made it through the opening segment well, but said it took some time to get into the flow of the game.
Once he got going, Rondo said it was like any other night of watching the game he loves.
“It was just like talking, sitting in your living room, talking to a friend of yours, dissecting the game,” Rondo told ESPNBoston’s Chris Forseberg after the game.
WATCH: Rondo’s Debut On CSNNE
It was Rondo’s idea to do sit next to Gorman for a half of television play-by-play, and with his health situation this season offered the perfect opportunity.
“It’s just something I wanted to do. I did it for the fans, I did it for my team, it’s something different; not a lot of guys do it currently while playing,” said Rondo. “I thought it would be OK to give it a shot. Like I said, I wasn’t playing the back-to-back, and I was traveling with the team, so why not?”
Toucher & Rich on Rondo’s Broadcast Debut:
Though he was guarded at times, not wanting to get in trouble for giving up too much information or commenting on officiating, Rondo did analyze and break down a few plays drawn up by head coach Brad Stevens. Rondo sang the praises of most of his teammates, including former D-Leaguer Chris Johnson, Kris Humprhies and rookie Kelly Olynyk.
Rondo even offered up some praise for a couple of Bulls he’s had some run-ins with in the past, including Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich. Rondo said he and Noah have squashed any beef the two had, and that he loves to compete against Hinrich. There was no talk of the 2009 tussle that Rondo and Hinrich got into during the 2009 postseason.
But Rondo’s biggest takeaway from the evening was the professionalism of Gorman, who has been doing Celtics games for over 30 years. While Rondo was still trying to find his groove early, Gorman helped him by asking some simple, but conversational, topics, like the difficulty of guard Jerryd Bayless playing the two-guard one night and then handling point guard duties the next.
“I didn’t realize it, but Mike is so good at it, he makes it look easy and it’s not,” said Rondo. “He’s probably the best at what he does. All the things that you don’t see on camera that he’s doing, he’s doing about 90 things in one minute behind the scenes.”
Rondo isn’t sure if he will get another shot at doing more play-by-play, but said he’d be open to it in the future.
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