Rondo covers 'Boston Common,' continues to open up

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Rondo covers 'Boston Common,' continues to open up

BOSTON - For most of Rajon Rondo's basketball career, there has been little insight into who he really is other than what you see on the basketball court.
These days, the ever-reclusive All-star point guard appears to be more open to opening up, and the results have been impressive.
After a media blitz this summer that included appearances on national programs such as NBC's the "Today" Show and an internship at GQ magazine, Rondo's latest achievement of note is appearing on the cover of Boston Common magazine -- a rare feat for an athlete.
Since 2007, only six athletes have appeared on the magazine's cover. Two of those athletes were current Celtic Paul Pierce (December, 2008) and former C's big man Shaquille O'Neal (Spring, 2011).
When asked about being on the cover following the Celtics' practice on Wednesday, not even the always-cool and collected Rondo could hide his excitement about being featured in the magazine.
"It is a really big deal," Rondo told CSNNE.com prior to the magazine's party in his honor that was attended by a number of his teammates in addition to head coach Doc Rivers. "To get an opportunity to be on the cover, it's definitely an honor. Guys like Paul Pierce ... only a few sports guys have been on the cover."
Once he arrived on the red carpet, Rondo, donning a green jacket and a black shirt, was soon greeted by a sea of flashing light bulbs and several individuals -- among them Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca -- taking turns to get a picture with Rondo.
"I'm excited to be here, with the support of my teammates and the support of Boston," Rondo said.
Unlike most of the other magazine covers that Rondo has been featured, Boston Common is more of a lifestyle publication as opposed to one that is centered around the game of basketball.
Being featured in such a publication speaks to how Rondo is no longer seen as an NBA player on the rise.
Instead, he is viewed as more than just a basketball player, but a multi-faceted talent whose reach and influence extends beyond the hardwood.
Although there are a number of charitable endeavors that Rondo is involved with, there are many more that are never talked about in part because that's how Rondo wants it to be.
"I'm kind of a behind the camera-type guy when I try to do something from the heart," he said. "I don't need a lot of media attention or cameras there when I do certain charity events. It's just something I do."
And what he's doing now is continuing to take the world by storm doing what so many close to him have been pushing him to do for years -- be Rondo.
He's not just a basketball player. Rondo is a personality with purpose; a purpose that includes interests beyond the game of basketball that he's finally at peace with sharing to the rest of the world such as his growing love for fashion.
"People seeing a different side of me other than just basketball," Rondo said. "I don't do a lot of stuff, other than basketball. But when I did this summer, when I did, it opened up a lot of, a whole new window of opportunity for myself in the way that people see me."

Stars, studs and duds at halftime: Isaiah Thomas opens with efficiency

Stars, studs and duds at halftime: Isaiah Thomas opens with efficiency

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics found themselves in an unfamiliar place for most of the first half against Milwaukee. The Celtics were playing from behind as the half ended, and were trailing the Milwaukee Bucks 55-49.

The Bucks opened the game with a 14-4 run, only for Boston to respond with 10 straight to tie the game at 14. Boston would take the lead but couldn’t put much distance between itself and Milwaukee, with their lead in the first quarter peaking at just four points.

After a 24-all tie to end the first, Milwaukee opened with an 8-0 run and played with the lead for the remainder of the second quarter in which their lead grew to as many as 14 points. 

But the Celtics chipped away at the Bucks' lead, getting it down to as little has four points on multiple occasions before the Bucks wound up taking a six-point lead into the half. 

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Wednesday’s game against the Bucks. 

STARS

Khris Middleton: Milwaukee’s ball movement created lots of open looks, and nobody seemed to benefit more from this than Middleton. He had 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting with four rebounds and two assists. 

Isaiah Thomas: He didn’t take a lot of shots, but made the ones he did take count. He had 20 points at the half on 5-for-7 shooting from the field. 

STUDS

Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak was solid in the first half with 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting. 

Mirza Teletovic: He gave the Bucks a nice offensive spark to the second quarter, finishing with eight points on 3-for-5 shooting.

Avery Bradley: He managed to get some easy looks on cuts to the basket, finishing with eight points on 4-for-9 shooting and three rebounds. 

DUDS

Celtics composure: Both Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas picked up technical fouls in the second quarter, letting their emotions get the better of them. And on top of that, they turned the ball over 11 times which led to five points for the Bucks but even more important, took away potential scoring opportunities for the Celtics.  

Celtics co-owner pleased with present, future of team

Celtics co-owner pleased with present, future of team

BOSTON – Like most of us around New England, Wyc Grousbeck heard all the early praise doled out on the Boston Celtics as being one of the elite teams in the East prior to this season starting. 

“I felt before the season that maybe we were being overrated,” Grousbeck, co-owner of the Celtics, told CSNNE.com. “That we were maybe a top-10 team in the league and the top few in the East, maybe. But it still felt like a longshot.”

And here they are, preparing to play Game No. 75 this season, against Milwaukee, with the best record (48-26) in the Eastern Conference. 

“They’ve grown into themselves,” Grousbeck said. “They’re playing better than I probably thought.”

But Grousbeck has been around the NBA long enough to know there is still much work to be done. After all, the Celtics’ focus remains on winning an NBA title. But Grousbeck is wise enough to know that while that is the goal, it often takes longer to accomplish than anyone – himself included – would like. 

It’s even trickier when you consider how the East is still relatively close despite their being just a handful of games remaining. 

“There’s a bunch of teams scuffling around in the East, and we’re scuffling around with them,” Grousbeck said. “We gotta do something in the playoffs.”

This will be Boston’s third straight season advancing to the postseason. Each of the first two appearances ended with a first-round exit. 

But this year is different. The Celtics are on pace to finish with home court advantage at least through the first round of the playoffs. But if they’re able to win the games they are favored throughout the remainder of this regular season, they will finish with the top seed in the East and with it, home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

And as we’ve seen of late, home court has indeed been an advantage for Boston which comes into tonight’s game having won its last seven at home, which includes the first four games of a current six-game home stand. 

The success Boston has had thus far has raised the expectations of many. 

And while Grousbeck certainly wants to see the Celtics have more success than they have had the last couple of years in the playoffs, there’s no mistaking he is pleased with the direction of the franchise that just four years ago was a lottery team.

“There’s no reason to put a ceiling on the season,” Grousbeck said. “I think this season already looks good to me. I love our coach. I love our young players. I love our draft picks and our potential cap room (this summer); all of our fans. So I’m already happy with where the team is going.

Grousbeck added with a grin, “If we can speed it up all the better.”