Beyond the Arc: Rajon Rondo

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Beyond the Arc: Rajon Rondo

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

On a team of high-energy players who arent shy about expressing their intensity on the court, Rajon Rondo plays it cool. He rarely shows emotion, whether he is driving the lane for an improbable basket or tossing a lob for a game-winning alley-oop -- its all just part of his game.

But underneath that unaffected demeanor is a fiery player with a surging desire to win. It may not always be easy to read Rondos emotions, but there is no doubting his commitment to success.

After Rondo talked about his competitive nature with CSNNE.coms Beyond the Arc, his teammates on the Boston Celtics shared what they most appreciate about his will to win.

Kendrick Perkins has been close friends with Rondo for years. He enjoys Rondos personality both on and off the court.

Hes got like a quiet arrogance about him, Perkins said. He doesnt talk or show too much emotion, but hes arrogant with it. It helps us a lot, because when he picks it up, he picks it up for everybody.

Delonte West was teammates with Rondo during his rookie year. After playing on opposing sides for three seasons, West appreciates his competitive nature - now that it isnt being used against them.

His competitiveness is deceptive, West said. He talks a lot, communicates, and does all the right things, but as far as showing his emotions, you couldnt tell. Like in comparison to KG, by his emotions or a certain action he does, you can tell hes out there competing. KGs into the game, whereas Rondo may not give you all that emotion but hes just as fierce inside. Its like a quiet confidence that you dont understand until you actually match up against him and you see, this guy is quietly really trying to beat me (laughs).

It helps a lot because everyone is so focused on the Big Three, and you have another guy thats just sitting in the darkness and hes not trying to make any noise about it and draw attention to himself, but hes quietly one of the best point guards in the NBA and the world.

Glen Davis plays major minutes with the Celtics starters, and being on the court with Rondo helps him find his groove.

Hes just a floor general, Davis said. Hes a grinder. He wants to win and he has the urgency to win. You can just see it. Hes grown tremendously. Ive been knowing him for a while and Im glad hes on my team. Hes always pumping confidence in us, making us shoot the ball, telling us where we need to be at the right time and place.

Nate Robinson knows how important Rondo is to the Celtics success, so he takes their match ups in practice very seriously.

Hes not really cocky, but he knows that hes good, Robinson said. Thats something that every basketball player has in our system. Thats what I love about him. Hes very, very confident in himself. It motivates me to get him better every day in practice, just try to give him the best look being the other guard, and trying to keep him on his toes so when he gets a look in the game, he doesnt have a drop-off.

Von Wafer knows Rondo is going to give it his all on the court, which pushes him to do the same. He has been motivated by Rondos recent offensive attack.

Rondos been big, he said. I think he could easily average 20 points, but hes been a distributor. But hes been attacking more, scoring more. I think thats good for us. Hes a tough player. It motivates you because youve got to come out there ready to play because youre going to look bad when everyone else is playing hard and you arent. I dont want to look bad out there.

Avery Bradley came into his rookie season hungry to work hard. He was pleased to find out Rondo was on the same page.

I like how hard he plays, how much he loves the game, he said. I learn to always go hard from him. Hes even competitive in practice and some guys arent like that, but he is. It caught me off guard. All those guys, theyre competitive about everything. It was weird because thats how I am and all my friends werent like that. Now being at this level, everybody is like that.

Do you have a question for the Celtics? Tweet it to Jessica Camerato on Twitter and it may be asked on an upcoming edition of "Beyond the Arc." Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

BOSTON – It appears there may be an answer to the mystery surrounding Josh Jackson’s decision to not work out for the Boston Celtics leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft.

While conventional wisdom tells us that such decisions are often made by the agent who in this case is former NBA player B.J. Armstrong.

Boston instead selected Jayson Tatum at No. 3 with the Phoenix Suns scooping up Jackson with the No. 4 pick.

MORE: Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

During Jackson’s introductory press conference, there was a sense that it wasn’t necessarily Armstrong who strong-armed Jackson into not working out for the Celtics. But apparently, he got an assist from Suns General Manager (and ex-Celtics assistant GM) Ryan McDonough.

A reporter asked McDonough if Phoenix may have encouraged Jackson to cancel his workout with the Celtics who were flying into Sacramento, Calif. to watch Jackson workout only for it to be canceled after they had departed which as you can imagine, did not go over well with Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.

“I’d like to consult my attorney B.J. Armstrong (Jackson’s agent),” McDonough said, smiling.

The more McDonough talked, the clearer it became that he and Armstrong were in cahoots to do all they could to get Boston to pass on Jackson at No. 3 which as McDonough mentioned, doesn’t break any rules.

“You guys all know my history with the Celtics and the respect I have for Danny Ainge and the organization,” McDonough told reporters on Friday. “But I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition. The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough is right in that no rules were broken if he and Armstrong did decide to work together in an effort to get Jackson to Phoenix.

But to cancel the workout after the Celtics executives and head coach Brad Stevens had left, forcing them to spend a night on the road for a workout that Jackson’s camp probably knew wasn’t going to happen well before the Celtics contingent boarded for Sacramento … not cool.

Here are words I thought I would never say … the Ball clan got it right.

They told Boston from the jump that Lonzo Ball wasn’t going to work out for them, so the Celtics knew he didn’t want to be a Celtic from the very beginning.

Jackson’s actions said the same, but his words kept hope alive that he would work out or at the very least, talk to the Celtics organization – neither of which happened.

He kept referring to the fact that he didn’t think Boston was interested in him when they had the number one pick (that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if they asked him to work out for them; otherwise, what’s the point from the Celtics'  perspective of asking to work out a guy they had no interest in drafting?)

After they traded down to the number 3 pick, a deal that was cemented last weekend, Jackson said there wasn’t time to do a workout for Boston.

The draft was nearly a week away and he didn’t have time to work out for a team that had the third pick overall knowing that the top two picks (Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and Lonzo Ball at No. 2) were essentially accounted for?

“If I could have, I probably would have worked out for them,” Jackson said (with a straight face). “But I think everything worked out for the best.”

Yup.

Boston will once again be among the better teams in the East and will contend for the best record like they achieved this past season before their season ended in the Conference finals to Cleveland. 

Jackson will spend his rookie season playing a lot of minutes with a Suns team that probably won’t win as many games as he did a year ago at Kansas (33).

Enjoy.

Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

As rumors swirl in this post-draft, pre-free agency week for the NBA, Adam Kaufman of 98.5 The Sports Hub reported Friday that the Celtics could land long-rumored target Gordon Hayward AND trade for Paul George. And Kaufman says George would be more than just a one-year rental.

Kaufman elaborated on a possible George deal on his "Celtics @ 7" show Saturday. He said the trade with the Indiana Pacers wouldn't cost Boston next year's Brooklyn pick, rather it would be the first-round pick (Lakers 2018 or Kings 2010) acquired this week from the Philadelphia 76ers when Boston traded down the No. 1 for No. 3, along with Jae Crowder and another salary filler. 

MORE CELTICS: 

Before you run out and buy that No. 13 Celtics Paul George jersey, Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com explains how financially disadvantageous it would be for George - long thought to want to head to the Lakers - to do this.