Back so soon?
Rajon Rondo was traded to Dallas just more than two weeks ago, he’s played just six games for the Mavericks. Yet, thanks to the fun of the NBA schedule, Friday night he’ll back in Boston, where the Celtics have planned a video tribute for the point guard who helped lead the team to the title back in 2008.
Rondo will hear the love from fans and former teammates, Jeff Green told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
“He’s a good friend of mine,” Green said. “One of the reasons why I re-signed here. It’ll be good to see him….
Still, Green added, “it’ll be great to see him. The fans are really going to enjoy seeing him. It’ll be weird to see him in a different colored uniform. The reception he’s going to get is well-deserved.”
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Rondo said those fans are what he will miss most about Boston, speaking to Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“It’s one of the best, if not the best, franchises in history as far as winning championships in any sport, and probably the best fans in the world, so I had a great time here in Boston,” Rondo said. “I’m going to miss it. I think the thing I’ll miss probably the most is my teammates, and the fans. I don’t think there are any other fans in sports like Celtic fans.
“They’ve always been fair to me. Even my rookie year, when we were struggling and lost 18 (games) in a row, we still had sold out games and they were very supportive…When I’d walk the streets of Boston, went to restaurants – in other places you might get some negative comments — but I can’t remember one time when I got into it with a fan or someone said something crazy to me or someone I was with, so just a lot of love and a lot of respect that this town has had for me and I’ve tried to show it back.”
Rondo is still trying to find his way in the Dallas offense — his assist percentage is down, his shots are up, and that’s not playing to his strength — but the Dallas defense the last five games is 3.1 points per 100 points better with Rondo in the lineup and that was the end of the court they needed him to improve on. Dallas is 4-2 since he entered the lineup.
“(The Celtics) could have shipped me anywhere, and I’m very fortunate to go to a team that’s ready to compete for a title,” Rondo said. “But to play with the talent that I have around me (in Dallas), I think I have a good shot (of succeeding)…It’s very motivating. Things worked out for both teams.”
If things work out, Rondo plans to stay in Dallas when he becomes a free agent this summer, according to reports. But he will have multiple suitors, a number of teams trying to lure an All-Star point guard in league that is more and more perimeter based. How Dallas performs the rest of the season and into the playoffs, how he feels he fits in with the Mavericks, will help him make his choice. As will the money. It’s always about the money.
But that’s July, the future. January 2 will be about the past and a celebration of Rondo’s legacy in Boston.
He will feel the love from fans.