BOSTON (CBS) — Two weeks after being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, Rajon Rondo caused a bit of a stir by saying he didn’t play much defense his final seasons in Boston.
“I haven’t played defense in a couple of years,” Rondo said just before his first return to Boston as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. “I’ve been able to hide it a lot with Avery Bradley on the ball. He’s helped me out, the young guy. But here they expect me to play defense.”READ MORE: Brockton High School Adds Metal Detectors, Bag Searches To Updated Safety Precautions
The statement upset many in Celtics nation, though Rondo’s lack of effort on the defensive end is really nothing new for those faithful followers.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, the man who shipped Rondo to Dallas on December 18, discussed those comments Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich, and doesn’t think people understand Rondo’s point.
“I didn’t read much into [the comments] because I didn’t interpret them the way everyone else did,” explained Ainge. “I think what Rondo was referring to mostly, because he did refer Avery Bradley, was that Avery took a big burden off him. Avery would defend the other team’s best guard. Rondo is a great weak-side defender — a rover and free safety type defender — better than he is an on-ball defender. In Dallas now, they’re going to ask him to guard the other team’s point guard, which is a full array of types of guards and great, All-Star guards in the West. I think that’s all he was referring to, that he is going to have to do that now. That’s how I interpreted his comments.”READ MORE: Rain Returns, Heavy Tuesday With Threat Of Flooding And Damaging Winds
Thursday was Ainge’s first appearance on Toucher & Rich since the Rondo trade, a move he said he made because the Celtics didn’t think Rondo would return when he hit the free agent market this summer.
“We thought that was the case and that was one reason why we made the trade. We thought Rondo was going to choose another place,” said Ainge. “We didn’t have knowledge, intel or information, but I felt like, where our team was and our timeline, that there was a strong possibility that it would not work out here.”
In 10 games with Dallas, Rondo has averaged 12 points, 8.2 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game. The Mavericks have gone 7-3 with Rondo as their point guard. Boston is 3-7 since the trade.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
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