HoopsHype Rajon Rondo rumors

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April 22, 2015 Updates

After the game, he was surrounded at his locker room by reporters. After getting dressed, he walked by the media members, briefly stopped in the training room, put head phones in and refused to talk. “I like the way other guys were playing,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “Coach’s decision.” When asked about Rondo’s effort tonight, Carlisle said: “You can ask him that question. “All I know, right now, is that we need everybody at their competitive best. This isn’t about one guy who did or didn’t play. This is about everybody pulling in the same direction for the organization. That’s what it’s all about.” Houston Chronicle

Rajon Rondo looped around the media horde surrounding his stall late Tuesday night in the Toyota Center visitors' locker room and darted into the trainer's room. A couple of minutes later, Rondo emerged with headphone buds in his ears and ignored the handful of reporters who attempted to ask him questions as he walked toward the arena's exits, his eyes never shifting from straight ahead. ESPN.com

Perhaps surprisingly, there were no postgame fireworks between Carlisle and Rondo, multiple sources told ESPNDallas.com. The coach and point guard had infamous expletive-laced exchanges on Feb. 24, the first occurring during a timeout after Rondo walked the ball up the floor and ignored Carlisle's play call midway through the third quarter, the second coming in the locker room after Rondo watched the rest of the Mavs' comeback win over the Toronto Raptors from the bench. ESPN.com

April 18, 2015 Updates

The night before we met, when the Rockets beat the Mavs, Dallas handed out Rajon Rondo bobbleheads at the gates. The Mavs acquired the mercurial point guard in midseason, and while many observers are quick to say that he hasn’t worked out, Cuban remains optimistic that, with some practice time, there’s still a chance things could pan out in the playoffs. “He hasn’t been as good of a fit as we would’ve liked,” says Cuban. “And Rajon would tell you the same. I think that he is a guy that is built for the playoffs, and we haven’t had a lot of practice time together. He’s been here for maybe five or six practice days.” Grantland

April 15, 2015 Updates

"I know Ray probably didn't like Rondo that much, but it wasn't a fact of not liking somebody. You don't have to like everybody you play with -- it's a matter of showing support. "Rondo probably didn't like Ray either, but he came to Ray's functions to show, 'Hey, we're together in this.' ESPN.com

April 14, 2015 Updates

"It was a weird relationship,'' Pierce conceded. "We were all good friends on the court, but Ray always did his own thing. That's just the way Ray was. Even when we were playing together, we'd be having a team dinner and Ray wouldn't show up. We'd go to his charity events but Ray wouldn't show up to somebody else's. I called him on it. I said, 'Man, Ray, we support all your stuff but when we ask you, you don't come to ours.' I remember when Rondo re-signed with Boston, we had a little dinner at a restaurant and Ray didn't show up. I know Ray probably didn't like Rondo that much, but it wasn't a fact of not liking somebody. You don't have to like everybody you play with -- it's a matter of showing support. Rondo probably didn't like Ray either, but he came to Ray's functions to show, 'Hey, we're together in this.' It's not a bad thing with Ray. We had a great relationship on the court. But even the year we won it, after a game we'd say, 'Let's go have something to eat and have a night with the older guys.' We'd get there and it would be me, Kevin and Sam (Cassell), but no Ray. In a lot of ways, me, Sam and Kevin were our Big Three. It just got to the point where it was, 'That's Ray.' No hard feelings. Everyone made such a big deal of us not talking after we left, but there really wasn't much there.'' ESPN.com

April 13, 2015 Updates

But if Bryant wants Rondo to join the Lakers so much once he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, why is the Lakers’ star standing up his friend? “I don’t know,” Rondo said. “I called and left a couple of voice mails. But he didn’t respond.” Rondo said the comments with a half-joking manner, making it hard to know if this actually took place or if the Mavericks guard is just staying coy. But Rondo kept a straight face on whether Bryant’s apparent flakiness will prompt him to answer his phone if the Lakers’ star calls during free agency. “No,” Rondo said. “There’s two missed calls.” Los Angeles Daily News

April 12, 2015 Updates
April 9, 2015 Updates

"Shorty doesn't always listen to everybody," Garnett says. "He'll tell you right off the top, 'I don't want to hear that shit,' or 'Get the hell away from me.' " Today, though, they talk, standing outside for 40 minutes. They talk later that night from their homes too, another half an hour or more on the phone. All of this is in the midst of what will prove to be their last hope for another title run -- Garnett, the Celtics' emotional anchor, burning time managing a petulant hothead. And it's here, back in his car, still fighting through traffic, that Garnett pauses, sighs and takes a deep breath. Where to begin? How to explain the mercurial on-court magician who Garnett believes is so misunderstood? ESPN.com

"That's that fire, man," Garnett says, every syllable punctuated with his signature fury. "That's that alpha fire that's in you. That's that knuckle-down, I'm-not-afraid-of-anything relentless attitude, like, 'I'm coming at you and if you're not ready, then I'm coming through you.' That's what makes him who he is. I always told him, 'Don't ever apologize for that, because that's your mojo, that's what makes you who you are.' But he's got to be able to control it. 'Let that be a part of you, but control it. Don't let it control you.' " ESPN.com

The Celtics considered him a pseudo-advance scout, listening and looking for cues from the opponent, then calling out exactly what they were about to do. Before Rondo's first playoff series against Atlanta in 2008, the Celtics distributed a 100-page book full of the Hawks' plays and statistics. Rondo took it home, then challenged assistant Darren Erman the next morning: "Quiz me on anything." Rondo nailed every question, until Erman tossed a curveball -- a question about something that wasn't in the book. "Fuck you," Rondo said. "That's not in there." Once, when Erman was with the Warriors, his team ran a side out-of-bounds play, called C, that he says they'd run maybe 15 times all season. They called the play. Rondo immediately shouted, "C! Rip screen, rip screen!" Erman and then-Warriors assistant Brian Scalabrine looked at each other, stunned: How in the hell did he know that? ESPN.com

Rondo is adept at poker -- computing probabilities, counting cards -- emptying teammates' pockets. He's a whiz at bourré, the famously contentious card game that's fractured many an NBA locker room. Bryan Doo, the Celtics' strength and conditioning coach, calls Rondo the best spades player he's ever played. "And I've played a lot," Doo says. Rondo maintains a close circle, but during his eight-plus seasons in Boston, he was as close with Doo as anyone. Doo always sought activities to keep Rondo engaged -- golf, tennis, a home run derby with softballs, pool, pingpong, throwing footballs off the wall into a trash can, unorthodox workouts, printing out math equations and racing to solve them first, trying to top each other in Lumosity brain games, designed to improve cognitive abilities. "If you can't keep up with him up here," Doo says, pointing to his head, "he won't listen to you." ESPN.com

April 5, 2015 Updates

He was very pleasant, but his answers were fairly scripted as he spoke to me while getting dressed. I nodded along as he talked about the importance of communication as the team continues to gel. Ho-hum. Then the following exchange happened: Me: “I’ve heard about chemistry issues, this and that, but I’ve also heard you and Monta get along really well off the court—” Rondo [interrupting]: “That’s like my brother. [Pauses for a second.] We’re very supportive of each other. We have a lot of similarities. When you kinda … have the same background, it’s just easy to relate. That’s how our relationship grew.” Grantland

The friendship between Rondo and Monta is a real thing. Has anything ever made so much sense while simultaneously making no sense at all? On the floor, these two are polar opposites. One shoots at will, while the other regularly looks off wide-open jumpers. They don’t even fit particularly well on the court, physically. Rondo’s spacing (or lack thereof) seems to be a real problem for Ellis. But when you start to think about how they both play with an edge and can both be pretty stubborn, and sometimes even un-coachable, the friendship seems like a no-brainer. Grantland

April 2, 2015 Updates

It could be Bryant’s final season, and the franchise does not want to send him off with yet another rebuilding year, though that might be in the best long-term interest of the team. Assuming the Lakers stay in win-soon mode, it is a safe bet that they will go hard after the two top point guards on the market, with Bryant’s pal Rajon Rondo at the head of the list and Goran Dragic behind him. Sporting News

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