Celtics owner: Rajon Rondo ‘super stubborn,’ harder than average to coach


Rajon Rondo reportedly told the Celtics he wants to leave Boston.

Of course, everyone – Rondo’s agent, the Celtics – denied this. It seems Rondo will begin the season in Boston, though Celtics general manager Danny Ainge won’t rule out anything.

At minimum, there’s tension in the Rondo-Celtics relationship.

I’m not sure this will ease it.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck on WBZ-TV, as transcribed by Adam Kauffman of Boston.com:

“He’s super stubborn,” revealed Grousbeck, adding Rondo is a good, generous kid who loves being in Boston. “I don’t know how coachable he really is.

“I know if you ask [former, long-time head coach] Doc [Rivers], ‘Was he the most coachable guy, or in the top half, 50 percent,’ he’d say, ‘No, he’s in the bottom 50 percent of being coachable.’ It’s hard with him,” Grousbeck continued.

Grousbeck was asked by anchor Dan Roche about the captain’s future, and the owner said he’d “absolutely” like Rondo to remain for the long-term.

Pressed as to why, “It’s intangible,” Grousbeck said of the man he called a great Celtic. “You just watch him. He played through sort of a broken elbow, a ripped knee. He’s a gamer, he’s a competitor, and he’s got world-class talent.”

I’d love to see Grousbeck deliver these quotes. These really don’t sound so bad, and more context could be helpful.

Plenty of friends have called me stubborn while complimenting me. Grousbeck is either doing that here or couching the negatives with enough positives to paint an overall favorable picture.

After all, Grousbeck unabashedly says he wants Rondo to stick around.

But that doesn’t make the owner wrong when he points out Rondo’s flaws.

I’m sure Rondo is stubborn. I’m sure he’s difficult to coach.

How will he handle the Celtics owner saying so publicly?

There’s no telling how Rondo will react, though I think he’ll take this in stride. After all, he’s admitted he’s tough to coach.

But if Rondo actually wants out or considering requesting a trade, anything like this could put him over the edge.