Rajon Rondo played seven seasons for Doc Rivers and with Paul Pierce and six seasons with Kevin Garnett. Rondo won a championship with those three. He battled nightly with those three. He took cross-country trips with those three.
Then, they all left Rondo alone in Boston. Pierce and Garnett were traded to the Nets, and Rivers joined the Clippers. Suddenly, the Celtics’ were Rondo’s team.
Both nostalgically and forward-looking, this summer must have put Rondo through the emotional wringer. Right?
Asked about the departures of Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, Rondo was unemotional.
“It wasn’t difficult at all,” said Rondo. “I didn’t feel anything. I actually landed in LA the night of the draft. I had 45 text messages come through the phone. I thought I was traded.
“It’s not the first teammates that I’ve been close to who were traded away — Perk, Tony Allen. It’s part of the process. This is a fresh start for us, a new coach and a new team. I’m excited about the fresh start.”
Frankly, I don’t believe Rondo.
That’s fine. He’s not obligated to share his emotions with the public, and I believe he understands the business aspect of it and can use that angle to deflect the emotional response.
But Rondo is not a cyborg (though, I can’t confirm that with absolute certainty), and he had been through too much with Garnett, Pierce and Rivers to just shrug off their departures.
I don’t know whether Rondo was sad, invigorated, worried, relieved or what. But I can’t accept that he felt nothing.
Maybe someday Rondo will open up about what was a very chaotic summer for someone staying on the same team. Until then, I’m just taking his reserved answer as part of his chilly charm.