Rajon Rondo claims that he hasn’t been paying attention to the media coverage of his decision to stay in Los Angeles to celebrate his birthday while his teammates flew to Sacramento to play the Kings, but that’s likely a stretch of the truth. Given the 24/7 coverage of sports, and the endless need for debate, Rondo would have had to have spent the past week in a cave in order to avoid the over-coverage of the story.
Despite the attention and “controversy,” Rondo hasn’t let it negatively affect his play on the court. In fact, he’s played very well, and that’s something that head coach Brad Stevens has appreciated from his point guard.
“I think one of the great tests for people are when things aren’t going as smoothly for them,” Stevens told Gresh & Zo on Friday. “Obviously there’s been a storm cloud around him this week, and how does he respond to that? I thought Wednesday, he got out on the court, we were really struggling, which is not unusual coming off a West Coast trip in the first six minutes. And the guy that dove on the floor to get the whole place energized, including our team, and led us to win was him.
“In the midst of all that was going on, all that was being discussed, all the things that were being talked about, here’s a guy that was able to show [what he’s] in the midst of all of that. I thought that was a really good sign, and a good sign for me that we’ve put closure to it and we’ve moved forward.”
Danny Ainge told The Boston Globe that he “learned some things that I didn’t know and we had a lot conversation about it and I’m satisfied with it” regarding his discussion with Rondo. Ainge also wouldn’t say whether or not Rondo made a mistake, and Stevens shared a similar message with Gresh & Zo.
“Leaders are human. And human beings are fallible,” Stevens said. “Not saying he is or isn’t in this circumstance, but I am saying that the best leaders that I’ve ever been around, played for or been on a team that I’ve been on or that I’ve worked for, when they have made mistakes, it’s how they responded that made them so special.
“I look at Wednesday night and I go, that’s unique.”
Stevens was then asked about his ejection last week, which was the first of his career as a coach.
“I did not cuss,” Stevens said. “The officials in this league have a tough job, and they have a job to do. He felt like at that time that was the right move. It is what it is. That’s the first time I have gotten a tech or been ejected from a game, but at least it was late in the game when the outcome was decided.”