Rondo looking forward to working with Stevens

Rondo looking forward to working with Stevens
July 8, 2013, 3:00 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Despite a roster that won't look anything close to the championship-caliber teams he has played for in recent years, Rajon Rondo has made it clear that he wants to remain with the Celtics.

His agent Bill Duffy told that his client has no plans of asking for a trade, adding that Rondo is looking forward to working with new C's coach Brad Stevens.

"They (Rondo and Stevens) had a good conversation," Duffy told "Brad said that he wants to learn from Rajon, and they're both two pretty smart guys. They both have the same agenda. I think it'll be fine."

The sometimes rocky relationship between Rondo and former C's coach Doc Rivers raised questions as to whether the four-time All-Star would have an issue with the 36-year-old Stevens who came to Boston from Butler University and has never coached or played in the NBA.

Stevens has yet to meet Rondo in person, but has already signed on as a card-carrying member of the Rajon Rondo fan club.

"There's no bigger fan of Rajon," Stevens said shortly after being introduced as the Celtics' 17th head coach. "I think the way he plays, his instincts, the way he makes other people better, he sees plays ahead of the play. He's an incredibly talented person. Everyone I talked to has raved about how intellectual he is and how great he is. I'm looking forward to meeting him."

And Rondo, according to Duffy, is looking forward to getting to know Stevens a little better.

The point guard is also looking forward to returning to the court. When he does, there will be even more eyes and attention paid to his every move. That's a given when you're in Rondo's shoes as the unquestioned leader of the Celtics.

"He understands this is a great opportunity for him to assert his individual leadership," Duffy said. "So he has been mentored by some Hall of Fame guys now ... He has the opportunity to lead himself now and he relishes that opportunity."

Despite lowered expectations for the C's, Rondo's competitive drive will still push him and, to some degree, his teammates.

"He'll embrace this opportunity," Duffy said. "The question is, are the other players with him ready to be challenged the way he's going to challenge them?"

Rondo's will to win has never been questioned. Getting others to compete at a comparable level hasn't always been easy. That challenge becomes even greater when you consider the Celtics will continue to trend towards getting younger.

"You can never penalize a guy for being competitive and wanting to win," Duffy said. "That's what this is about. But he probably will be a little more tolerant with these younger guys, understanding he can help them to become better and more confident through his leadership. So that's what we're anticipating."