The Boston Celtics maintained a highly professional organization under Doc Rivers, who tightly circled the wagons around his team, forming a very tight-knit unit. Still, the most common leak from the camp was often about Rajon Rondo. Apparently, he really didn't get along, on a personal level, with some of the Celtics, namely Ray Allen and Rivers.
Rondo has earned a reputation as a hard-nosed player who doesn't back down, so these reports weren't exactly surprising. What is a bit more surprising is the relationship Rondo and new coach Brad Stevens formed almost overnight.
It began when Stevens surprised Rondo by showing up at his camp at the University of Kentucky. The way Rondo tells it, they've hit it off ever since.
"Me and Brad have become best friends," said Rondo. "We talk every day, we laugh and joke. We just had dinner the other night. I'm going to help him, he's going to help me."
"He has my full support. I told him from Day 1 when he came to my camp that I'm behind him 100 percent. Whatever he wants to do, whatever he wants to change, I have an open mind. I'm ready to listen and to be accountable for what he wants to do."
The Celtics are officially Rondo's team, which may have played a role in his attitude change. Afterall, it's probably slightly annoying to be surrounded by legends — from the GM, to the coach, to the players — all able to patronize a young stud's career or diminish his budding accomplishments.
Now that he's the man in Boston, he can really make an impact with the team. For now, it looks like he's seizing that opportunity.
"This is a fresh start for us, a new coach and a new team," said Rondo. "I'm excited about the fresh start…Whatever the case may be, whenever that may happen, that's what will happen. But until then, I'm a Celtic, and I'll play as hard as I can for this organization."