Rondo, Media Meet for First Time Since Ban

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo's focus was on his teammates, rather than himself, during his two-game suspension.
Jared Wickerham/NBAE/Getty Images

WALTHAM, Mass. – Rajon Rondo spoke to the media Tuesday afternoon for the first time since his two-game suspension was doled out about five days ago. He didn’t have a whole lot to say, but when he did say something it was all about his team.

Rondo entertained 14 questions during his session with the media. Five of his answers totaled 21 words, including one ambiguous claim that he took off to Mexico during his suspension. The other nine answers detailed his goals for the team moving forward and his dislike for being away from the team.

“It was difficult,” Rondo said of his suspension. “I love being around the guys. I love coming into practice and being around the team and playing, but I had to miss that for a couple of days.”

Rondo’s time away from the Celtics allowed him to watch his teammates from an outsider’s perspective. We’ve heard many Celtics over the years, most recently Jeff Green, claim that watching from the outside can open up a player’s mind and eyes. In this instance, Rondo’s absence helped him to appreciate Boston’s ability to share the ball despite his absence.

“We moved the ball very well without me, even still without me,” said Rondo. “Guys played great. Guys stepped up. Courtney Lee played well. We got off to a great start in Milwaukee, but our defense slipped as far as our pick-and-roll defense. But other than that, the guys did a great job.”

That may be a slight embellishment by Rondo, seeing as the team went just 1-1 in his absence, but he liked what he saw. Now, he says, it’s time to keep the momentum going and get this team on a roll.

“We’ve got to get this show on the road,” he said. “We’ve got to have a great December. November is behind us – we didn’t play well, I think we were 9-8 – but it’s a new month, and I’m ready to go.

“I mean, I want to get better. I want to run off about eight or nine games straight.”

Boston will need to become much more consistent in order to accomplish a goal like that. The C’s have shown that they can beat the best, but they’ve also shown that they can lose to the worst. Rondo understands that righting the ship will rely on playing great basketball for long durations, not short spurts.

“We’ve gotta play 48 minutes,” Rondo said. “We’ve been playing together well for 20 minutes here, maybe a quarter-and-a-half there. Even when I was out the team played great in short periods of span, but we’ve got to put it together for 48 minutes. It’s going to take an entire team effort.”

Tuesday was just another example of Rondo's team-oriented thought process. As much as reporters wanted to lure him into a conversation about himself, the point guard wouldn’t oblige. He just wanted to talk about the guys he missed so much over the weekend.