For a long while there have been murmurs about how difficult it was to corral the Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo. If it wasn't about testy relationships with teammates, it was about former Boston coach Doc Rivers getting along -- or not -- with the All-Star point guard.
Newly-installed Celtics coach Brad Stevens probably knew all of the above, which is why making a quick trip last Thursday to sit down with Rondo in Louisville, Ky., was such a savvy move. Stevens spoke at Rondo's basketball camp and then sat down with his point guard, according to ESPN Boston.
"We just sat down for an hour, or an hour and 15 minutes, and I thought had a nice sitdown," Stevens said. "We talked a lot about life, we talked a lot about basketball. We hit on neither exclusively, we just talked. I found him to be very insightful, very intelligent. And that was consistent to what I had heard from those who knew him best. I'm really looking forward to spending more time together.
Rondo has admitted that he's sometimes going to question his coaches, and there were rumors of clashes between Rondo and Rivers. According to Sports Illustrated, the relationship between Rondo and former teammate Ray Allen went downhill when Allen heard the Celtics were trying to trade the duo to the Phoenix Suns because Rondo supposedly didn't get along with Rivers or Celtics president Danny Ainge.
Rivers brushed off the idea that he joined the Los Angeles Clippers this summer because of a poor relationship with Rondo.
Earlier this month, Ainge said the team was taking calls for trade inquiries involving the point guard but wasn't interested in going through with a deal, the Boston Globe reported. With that, how Rondo would respect a young-gun coach like Stevens became a worry among the Boston faithful.
It's pretty apparent Stevens, who is jumping from a mid-major at Butler to one of the NBA's most storied franchises, is already working hard to manage egos of grown men. Or, he's simply putting in the work to gain the trust of the Celtics' lone franchise cornerstone remaining after Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were shipped to Brooklyn.