BOSTON (CBS) — Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Gorman has had a lot of play-by-play partners this season, as Tommy Heinsohn remains in Boston for most of the Celtics’ road games.
But on Monday night Gorman had a very unique color man sitting next to him: Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo.
It was Rondo’s idea to call the game alongside Gorman, who has been calling Celtics games for over 30 years now. Gorman said Rondo was very professional and did a lot of preparation, and once he got going it was smooth sailing in the point guard’s latest venture.
“It took him awhile to relax. I was surprised, and he admitted this afterwards, the stand-up at the beginning threw him,” Gorman told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday. “It took him probably 4-5 minutes into the first to get comfortable… During the second timeout in the first quarter, he pointed to his head and flipped his headsets off so I took mine off. He said, ‘we just want to act like two guys watching the game, right?’ And I told him that was exactly right. From there on in I thought he was very good.”
There is always plenty of chatter around Rondo, whether it be about his dazzling play on the court or some controversy off of it. He is a lighting rod for discussion, and while most fans in Boston love to see him play, many writers and talk show hosts have had enough of Rondo’s attitude and antics.
Gorman is a staunch Rondo supporter, and when it comes time for the Celtics to make some franchise-changing moves this off-season, he hopes they bring talent to surround the point guard rather start anew.
“I’m a Rondo guy and I think he is one of the top five players in the league in terms of skill level. He can do things other players can’t do at his position and if he improves as a shooter and as a scorer, and he’s shown evidence that he has, he’s very, very hard to replace,” said Gorman. “I don’t think replacing Rondo is the answer, I think finding a way to add to Rondo is the way the Celtics want to go.”
In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Gorman said many in the city of Boston has missed the boat with Rondo.
“He probably does as much, or more, charity work than any member of the team, and refuses to have publicity released about it. He does it quietly,” he said. “I’ve been informed of him going into a classroom and then taking them to Toys R Us and letting them go crazy. He’s a very solid kid in my mind.”
“He’s quiet; it’s not his nature to talk a lot. It’s been interpreted as arrogance by a lot of people, and that’s not to say he doesn’t have his arrogant moments. He does, but we all do,” said Gorman. “I think Boston has missed the boat in the sense he’s much more popular outside of Boston than he is in Boston.
“As Tommy would say, it’s because of talk show hosts like you,” Gorman joked.