Rondo on Celtics-Heat: ‘It’s not a rivalry. But I still don’t like those guys.’

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Rajon Rondo has returned from injury, but he’s the only star veteran remaining from a team that won a championship in 2008, and had many memorable playoff battles in the years that followed — including against the Miami Heat.

While there may no longer be a rivalry between the two teams based on the talent exodus in Boston, Rondo still has a distaste for playing against the defending champs.

From Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:

Does Rajon Rondo think the Celtics-Heat rivalry is dead, as LeBron James said in November?

“That’s a tough question,” Rondo said. “It’s not a rivalry. But I still don’t like those guys.” …

“To go back and answer your question, I don’t really like anybody I play against,” Rondo said. “That’s just the type of attitude I approach the game with. We’re not friends on the court. Afterwards it’s a different story, but while we’re playing, I’m trying to win.”

It’s no secret Rondo plays with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s a good thing for his teammates.

Besides, the rivalry always seemed to be more of an individual one between James and Paul Pierce, as Pierce reminded us in the preseason the first time he faced LeBron as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.