Rajon Rondo is notoriously combative and hard on head coaches — Rondo is ultra-competitive, has a high basketball IQ, and thinks things should be done a certain way. If a coach wants to take a different approach, he has to convince Rondo that’s a good idea. Rondo is not a “you say jump, I say how high” kind of guy. Just ask Rick Carlisle.
Someday, Rondo wants to be the guy a point guard is yelling at. Or, he wants to be the guy picking the coach and the point guard who will yell at each other.
Rondo is not ready to retire — “playoff Rondo” is in full bloom this spring — but when he does he wants to say involved in the NBA, either as a coach or GM, he told Marc Stein of the New York Times.
“I want to be a general manager, and I want to be a head coach,” Rondo said. “Definitely both.”
It’s a little difficult to envision.
Not because Rondo couldn’t do the job — he absolutely can. He’s a coach on the court now and a guy who studies film and opponents — he knows how to attack defenses and how to win (even if his body can’t execute what his mind sees like it once could). He also knows players, personnel, and chemistry.
However, being an NBA coach in the modern NBA is to put your ego aside — the elite players are both the stars and the guys with the power. If a top player wants a coach gone, well, we’ve seen how that battle goes many times. The best coaches get players to buy in, and know how to put their ego aside for the betterment of the team — even Gregg Popovich retooled his offense this season to better accommodate LaMarcus Aldridge. Could Rondo do that? Oh, and he’d have to talk to the media every day during the season (often multiple times a day), which is no coach’s favorite part of the job, but it’s part of it.
General Manager is an even more diplomatic position than coach.
Still, if I were a coach or GM, I’d be willing to bring Rondo into the fold once his playing days are done and see if he can mold into the job (and mold the job to himself a little). He’s got the mind for it, that’s not in doubt.