Rajon Rondo has only played in six games for the Mavericks, after the Celtics finally pulled the trigger on a deal that sent him to Dallas two weeks ago.
That’s not very much time at all to put the past behind him while getting used to some completely new surroundings, and with a return to Boston on deck in the coming days, it’s not surprising that Rondo may be feeling a little emotional when he returns to face the Celtics as a member of the opposing team.
The Mavs face the Celtics at TD Garden on Friday night, and Rondo wistfully looks forward to a warm reception from a crowd he called “one of if not the best fans in sports, period.”
“Hopefully I won’t be too emotional, try not to cry a little bit, but I’m very excited to go back,” Rondo said. “Those fans are amazing there. If I do [tear up], hopefully the camera isn’t on me too much. I’m going to try to blink a lot.”
If Rondo does get a little bit emotional, he won’t be the first returning former Celtic to do so.
Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett all felt the same way, mainly because of the one special season they shared when they were able to bring a championship to Boston back in 2008.
Rondo likely has known that his time with the Celtics would come to an end one way or another this year. If he wasn’t traded, he would have been gone as an unrestricted free agent this summer, when he would have received more lucrative offers to go play somewhere else. But just because he may have been able to mentally prepare for the transition by seeing what was on the horizon, it won’t make his return to the Garden on Friday any less emotional.