Rondo putting rumors to bed

Rondo putting rumors to bed
December 10, 2011, 6:58 am
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WALTHAM Poor games. The trading away of his best friend.

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo hasn't always handled things not going his way, too well.

So when he became the most talked-about player to be traded this offseason, well, there was a belief based on his track record that he would sulk and pout about it.

But on Friday, the first day the Celtics reported to training camp, Rondo was all smiles, saying and doing all the right things when asked about an offseason in which he was the subject of trade rumors involving him being swapped for New Orleans all-star Chris Paul.

"You (media) guys may have heard the rumors, and they might have been true," Rondo said. "He (Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations) may have been shopping me."

But conversations with Ainge and Celtics head coach Doc Rivers helped put Rondo's mind at ease regarding the trade talk.

"I talked to both of those guys about a week ago," Rondo said. "They were straight-up with me, honest. Teams were calling. I don't think they were trying to intentionally ship me. But obviously, you have to entertain the calls. He (Ainge) told me he wanted me here, and I'm still here."

Still, Rondo has been on the trade rumor mill long enough to know regardless of what they say, there's always the possibility of being traded.

For now, Rondo is a Boston Celtic whose name at some point down the road will be once again mentioned in trade rumors.

"It's part of the process," Rondo said. "I'm trying to grow as a player, become a better player each day. And sometimes my name will be brought up in trade talks. Obviously, this year it was a lot."

Celtics captain Paul Pierce is familiar with what Rondo is going through now, having been the subject of several trade rumors early on in his career.

"There was a point when I was right there, getting ready to get shipped out of here," Pierce said. "And I come back the next year and have a career year. I just used it for motivation. I hope he does the same."

Rondo repeatedly said there's no added motivation needed for him going into this season.

"Fuel is to win a championship," he said. "I'm already fueled up."

Regardless of what Rondo says, Pierce is convinced all the trade talk will only make Rondo step his game up this season.

"I expect him to come out and probably have one of his best seasons of his career," Pierce said. "He's a guy who is very motivated, who is very competitive and when pushed, he can be one of the best in the game."