Rondo talks lockout at Malcolm X Park

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Rondo talks lockout at Malcolm X Park

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
ROXBURY Rajon Rondo has always been considered a student of the game.

With the NBA lockout showing no signs of ending anytime soon, Rondo is giving serious thought to just being a student.

Rondo, who left the University of Kentucky after his sophomore season, said hes considering a return to his alma mater to finish up work towards an undergraduate degree.

I got 60 hours right now, Rondo said. I got 40 left.

Rondo was at Malcolm X Park on Tuesday (Glen Davis made an unexpected visit as well) as part of the Bostons Got Wings program, sponsored by Red Bull, in which five parks had courts that were refurbished.

The parks received 500 for every steal Rondo had during the 2010-2011 season. He finished with 153 steals, which netted the parks 76,500.

It definitely means a lot, a kid like myself, growing up in the inner cities, Rondo said. Having a place to play is very big. Anything for kids, Im all with, and for.

Surrounding Rondo at Malcolm X Park were kids -- donning different color t-shirts, shorts and shoes -- taking shots at various courts.

Seeing Rondo on a court surrounded by shot-takers is a sight we may not see anytime soon.

The NBA owners and players remain in a labor stalemate since the owners locked out the players on July 1 when a new collective bargaining agreement could not be reached. Both sides have had a handful of meetings since then, but no meaningful progress has been made towards a new CBA.

And while players have been reluctant to address it, there is a growing concern that this season may be lost completely.

I dont know whats going to happen, Rondo said. I obviously cant speak too much on it. Its quiet right now. So I dont know.

What he does know is the left elbow injury he suffered in the second round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat is continuing to progress well.

I had a check-up today (Tuesday), Rondo said. Its getting there. Its still a little swollen, but other than that, no problem. Ill continue to work on it.

Rondo added that hes able to fully extend the arm now, so right now Im fine. He added, I can play a little bit. Not too much contact. I did three push-ups today. Im starting back to working out.

It remains to be seen if the work Rondo, or any of his Celtics teammates, put in this summer will be in vain if there is no season to be played. If thats indeed the case, or the season is significantly delayed, that would make it more likely that Rondo returns to the University of Kentucky and finish up his schooling.

He's wise enough to know that hes not going to be able to play forever.

Both he and Celtics coach Doc Rivers have joked about Rondo being a head coach one day. Rondo would most likely coach at the college level, which wont happen if he doesnt have his college degree.

Im close, Rondo said.

If only the same could be said about the labor situation between the owners and the players union.

Im ready to get back, lock in and focus, Rondo said.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Blakely: Raptors newcomers show Celtics what they're missing

Blakely: Raptors newcomers show Celtics what they're missing

TORONTO – It’s far too soon to say if the Celtics’ decision to stand pat at the trade deadline was a mistake.
 
But the early returns aren’t encouraging.
 
Their 107-97 loss Friday night to the Toronto Raptors wasn’t because of Kyle Lowry (right wrist), who didn’t even play, or DeMar DeRozan, who played out his mind while scoring a career-high 43 points.
 
The game will be remembered by the new guys Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, both acquired at the trade deadline by the Raptors.
 
Ibaka, who was a bad fit, and on most nights a bad player, in Orlando, looked like the O-K-C Ibaka while scoring 15 points to go with seven rebounds against the Celtics – numbers that were better than his two games combined against the Celtics this season with the Magic when he scored a total of just 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
 
And then there was Tucker, who got a crash video course on Raptors playbook just hours before the game, and proceeded to show the kind of toughness at both ends of the floor that has made him one of the league’s more underrated defenders as he finished with a near double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds.
 
It was their first game with their new team, but you would have thought they had been with Toronto all season long with how seamless they seemed to fit in.
 
Ibaka draining jumpers, Tucker causing chaos defensively, while absolutely crushing the Celtics on the boards...their play was a painful reminder of what could have been for the Green team.
 
Both were rumored to have been in the Celtics’ crosshairs prior to the Thursday 3 p.m. trade deadline. The Celtics were lukewarm at best on Ibaka (they didn’t want what would have been a 25-game rental) and just couldn’t quite strike a deal and cross the finish line for Tucker.
 
It’s too soon to hit the panic button and rip Danny Ainge for not getting a minor deal done like adding Tucker or Ibaka.
 
Still, his players have to embrace the truth behind what transpired this trade season.
 
Ainge went big-game hunting, focusing most of the team's efforts on landing a major difference-maker, a la Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
 
When that didn’t work out, he settled for the next best thing, which was to keep this group together.
 
The onus is now on them to prove that trust Ainge has in them, was well-placed.
 
Putting too much stock in the first game after the break is a risky proposition that no one should subscribe to.
 
But in the loss, it revealed many of the concerns and weaknesses of this roster that tend to get magnified in defeat while glossed over when they manage to win despite those flaws.
 
Isaiah Thomas may be the best scorer in the fourth quarter, but he’s human.
 
There will be games when Mr. Fourth Quarter can’t get it done.
 
Friday night was that kind of game for him. He scored just four of his team-high 20 points in the fourth.
 
And as the Raptors blitzed him repeatedly with two and three defenders, his teammates failed to step up when the opportunity was there to make impactful, game-altering plays down the stretch.
 
Watching the Celtics’ defense in the second half was painful.
 
DeRozan got whatever he wanted, when he wanted it.
 
And when he missed, the Raptors controlled the boards, got all the 50/50 balls and repeatedly out-worked Boston.
 
It exposed Boston in a way that’s painful to see, especially when those inflicting the greatest amount of damage could have been in the Celtics huddle and not the one on the other sideline.
 
 

Hardy: 'Celtics haven't reached that next level status'

Hardy: 'Celtics haven't reached that next level status'

Greg Hardy, Chris Mannix, and Glenn Ordway discuss what the Celtics should have done before the trade deadline, and what they need to do in the offseason in order to reach the next level in playoffs.