Rondo not thinking overseas... yet

562072.jpg

Rondo not thinking overseas... yet

BOSTON Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is no different than most of the NBA's young superstars.

As much as he longs to get back on the floor with the C's, he can't totally rule out playing overseas.

"I may (play overseas)," Rondo said at Red Bull magazine signing on Saturday which features him on the cover. "But right now I'm focused on trying to get better. Right now, I think and I hope that there will be a season. That's where my focus is."

But as we have seen with Rondo, he has the ability to shift directions - on and off the court - quickly.

And while it appears as though the market for high-priced American talent has dried up, the fact that Rondo hasn't totally ruled out the idea speaks to the uncertainty that the dilemma that some of the league's top talent will deal with if the lockout continues to drag on and potentially wipe out the entire season.

Do they stick around and hope a deal gets done between the owners and the union, or head overseas for less money than their NBA contract - but more money than nada, which is what they're making right now.

While Rondo appears to be patient throughout this process, that by no means equates to him just hanging around doing nothing.

In what Rondo himself describes as an "excellent summer," he has filled his Day Book with appearances such as the one he made at the Barnes & Nobles book store in Boston on Saturday, resuming his studies at the University of Kentucky (he left for the NBA after two seasons at UK) along with appearing in various celebrity basketball games with other NBA stars.

Rondo recently played in a charity game in Florida along with fellow all-stars Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Not surprisingly, Rondo was booed.

"It was fun," he said. "They knew I was in the building I had a fun time at the game."

Actually, Rondo admits he's been having a lot of fun all summer despite the lockout.

"It's just an extended vacation," said Rondo, adding that he's also "trying to train to get better. It's more time for me to work on my game. That's how I try to pace it these next couple of weeks, months that we have."

But Rondo knows all too well that the core group of Celtics that he has played with - has won with - isn't getting any younger.

Kevin Garnett is in the final year of his contract, and there's no telling if he'll re-sign or retire - season or no season.

Ray Allen will likely play a couple more years, but you have to wonder just how much longer can he continue to play at such a high level.

And then there's Paul Pierce, the youngest member of the Celtics' Big Three who recently turned 34 years old.

As players age, maintaining their conditioning becomes tougher.

Not having a normal training camp will make it even more daunting for them.

But Rondo said he's not worried about the health of the Big Three.

"They'll be ready," Rondo said. "They're the most disciplined guys I know. I'm not worried about them at all."

A bigger concern for him and the Celtics has to be filling out a roster that currently consists of just six signed players. That total does not include first-round pick Jajuan Johnson who the C's acquired via trade on draft night, and second-round pick E'Twaun Moore.

"It'll be a different makeup," Rondo said of the C's next team. "A lot of different guys; that's eight spots. A lot of new faces. We'll try and get them accustomed to how we do things here in Boston and go for a championship."

But that goal is put on the backburner during this lockout which began July 1.

At this point, just getting the season started is the goal for every player, Rondo included.

And that goal has brought a lot of players together as allies, after spending so much time fighting as enemies.

"We have to be. This is a time of need for the players to stick together," Rondo said. "This is what it's all about. Regardless of what we do on the court, go at each other or compete and play as hard as we can against each other, when we're off the court, we're friends, we're family."

Rondo added, "when the lights come on and you go on the court, that's when you go to war. Off the court, we have to stick together especially in a time like this."

Al Horford recalls offseason flirtation with Rockets

Al Horford recalls offseason flirtation with Rockets

Al Horford was destined to play in tonight’s game between Boston and Houston.
 
But for which team?
 
That was the question the four-time All-Star pondered this summer when he narrowed his list of suitors outside of Atlanta to Boston, Houston and Washington, in that order.
 
“I really considered coming here,” Horford told reporters on Monday. “But them and Boston and Washington. (Houston) and Boston were probably the two teams I was really, really looking at. Just a lot to consider.”

When you look at how seamless Horford has fit in with the Celtics and how well the Rockets (13-7) have played this season, you get the feeling that Horford would have found success individually and for whichever team he chose.
 
“At the end of the day, I just felt I was better off being here in Boston,” Horford said.
 
Rockets All-Star James Harden was among the party Houston sent to try and woo Horford to the Rockets.

“I thought we had a chance,” Harden said. “I thought we had a real good chance, but obviously it didn’t work out. Which is fine.”
 
Indeed, the Rockets have been one of the surprise teams of the NBA this season in large part to Harden moving to the point guard position full-time.
 
Not only is he once again ranked among the NBA’s top scorers at 28.3 points which ranks fourth in the NBA, but he’s also dishing out a league-high 11.8 assists per game.
 
“They made it pretty clear in the offseason that he was going to be the point guard,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “He’s got the ball all the time. He had the ball a lot before, but certainly now with their spacing and his ability to make the play himself or the right read to the big rolling or to the many good shooters around, it’s a perfect setup for him and his skillset.”
 
The ability to draw defenders and create space for those around him is one of the many reasons why the Rockets felt Horford would have been an ideal fit for their system.
 
But the same argument can be made for the Celtics who unlike the Rockets, at least attempt to play defense at a high level.
 
Boston began the season ranked among the worst defenses in the NBA, but are currently up to 18th with a defensive rating of 105.0. Meanwhile, the Rockets’ defense ranks 27th in the league with a 107.2 defensive rating.