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TMZ Sports spotted Rondo getting into a private car at his hotel before the Bulls played the Wizards — while the team bus was parked right outside. The timing is interesting since Rondo has voiced serious displeasure with Hoiberg over his recent 5 game benching. But a rep for the Bulls tells TMZ Sports there’s a perfectly good explanation for Rondo traveling solo. “On game days, Rajon often goes to the arena early before the team bus departs the hotel. We have few players who will do this when they want to get in extra work pregame.”
“They (media members) can drill me for the next four or five minutes,” Rondo said when there was a pause. “I haven’t had this much attention in awhile. I appreciate this. “Playing for the Bulls, playing for big organizations, like Boston, you’re going to be judged from Day One,” said Rondo. “It’s part of it. You signed up for it. I don’t mind being judged or pressure being put on myself. People have been counting me out since Day One. That doesn’t matter about being in a box. It’s not a great feeling as a player to play like that. You’re only as good as your coach thinks you are. That’s a big part of each individual’s success in the NBA. You look at James Harden and the year he’s having. (Mike) D’Antoni turned over the keys to him and he’s having his best year ever with the right personnel around him. Certain guys got an opportunity to shine and play without restraint and certain guys will rise to the occasion. And some won’t. Just trying to get a win.”
Taj Gibson: “It was great to have Rajon back on the floor.” Notes his coaching ability as a veteran player.
KC Johnson: Rondo: “You’re only as good as your coach thinks you are. That’s a big part of each individual’s success in the NBA.”
Rondo acknowledges “it’s a lot different than I anticipated” while discussing his role on the team. Doesn’t want to get into specifics, but clearly frustrated by being taken out of rotation.
Vincent Goodwill: Mirotic out with the flu. Rajon Rondo will be the first sub off the bench tonight
If Rondo ultimately plays with the second unit, Hoiberg may have to stagger Dwyane Wade’s minutes differently as he and Rondo haven’t paired effectively. “I’m not going to say that,” Rondo said, when asked if his strengths as a player are offset by the roster construction. “Am I going to think it? I thought a lot the last 24 hours. I thought a lot all season. I’m trying to figure out a way to help this team grow and get some wins.”
KC Johnson: Rondo indeed met w/ Gar Forman & John Paxson late Saturday. Save for Boylen incident, front office has lauded Rondo’s professionalism. Rondo told reporters he’d keep working, which is what meeting centered on. Hoiberg hasn’t ruled out using him w/ 2nd unit at some point. If Rondo remains out of rotation in February, would look for movement then. Until then, status quo.
Vincent Goodwill: One big thing from Rondo: “(Fred) said said I would be able to call a lot of plays.” Said things changed
KC Johnson: Does Rondo agree with Hoiberg that he’s slow? “I disagree. But that’s part of it. He’s the head coach. And we’re going to go with that.”
Vincent Goodwill: Rondo on explanation from Hoiberg: “Told me I’ve been looking slow the last five games.” Do you agree? “I disagree.”
Nick Friedell: Rondo, on if he feels he’s been singled out: “I’m Rajon Rondo. It is what it is.”
“It’s been really good,” Hoiberg said about his relationship with Rondo. “I talked to several coaches that had Rondo, who have been around him, including Rick Carlisle, who I played for in Indiana; he was an assistant under Larry Bird. He actually was the first guy who came up and talked to me after the trade happened and he said it’s going to be great. He said, ‘I think you guys have the perfect personalities for each other.’ From the minute we signed him and he came to Chicago, I knew he had a chance to be successful. He was very bought in to what we were trying to do, he wanted to come in and watch film; we worked a lot with his shot early in the process and he was around our guys and from the very first moment you could tell guys were going to gravitate toward him because of his voice, his veteran presence. Like all players, you learn a lot from the different situations you have been through. I’m sure that’s the case with Rajon.
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