It’s barely been two weeks since Rajon Rondo was traded to Dallas, after playing the first eight-plus seasons of his career as a member of the Boston Celtics.
The team and player didn’t part ways under anything resembling uncomfortable or strained circumstances. Boston is rebuilding, and feels it has a suitable replacement for Rondo in Marcus Smart, who will come at a much cheaper price over the next several seasons. Rondo, meanwhile, will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season, and it was far from guaranteed he’d re-sign in Boston, especially for anywhere close to the max contract that he may ultimately be seeking.
All of that means that there isn’t any bad blood between the Celtics organization and Rondo, despite the recent separation. Boston played a tribute video between the first and second quarters as a thank you to Rondo for his time with the team, which included winning a championship in the 2008 season. While the four-time All-Star didn’t appear to come to tears as he had expected, it was evident that he felt some real emotion as the tribute was paid.
By the way, Rondo had no soft spot on the court where his former team was concerned. He lit up the Celtics for 15 first-quarter points, and had tied his career high for made three-pointers in a game (4) before the first half was finished.