In the midst of the anticipation of Rajon Rondo’s return to the lineup, likely sometime this month, we’ve been able to see a different side of Rondo the past few months. The point guard has remained as a strong presence with the team on the floor and in the locker room throughout the first month of this regular season, including traveling for the countless road games Boston’s had this month.
He’s accumulated months of perspective watching from the sideline while recovering from his torn ACL, providing a unique look at his teammates and how he will fill in on the floor himself, upon his return.
This morning, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald has a great look at how both Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge think that Rondo could be destined for coaching at the end of his career.
“We’ve talked about it,” Brad Stevens said before the Celtics dropped a 92-85 decision to the Bucks last night. “One of our first conversations was that I asked him what he wanted to do when he’s done, because I’d heard that he liked the game on that level. So we talked about that quite a bit before we even got on the practice floor together.
“I think he’s great. He’s really got a good mind for it. He’d be great at it. He’s told me that he could see himself coaching down the road.”
Beyond just his early conversations to discuss the game and how Rondo can best fit in the Celtics system, Stevens has gained new evidence that he could handle things on the bench.
“We’ve had a rocky road to start as a team, but he’s been nothing but positive and encouraging and good to the guys and the staff and everybody else,” the Celtics coach said. “So this will be a great time for him in reflection when he’s done playing because he has to look a the game differently right now.”
Ainge had some very encouraging words about his All-Star’s potential on leading a team on the floor once his playing days are over.
“He’s got some spunk and some fire in him, but I think by that time of his life he’ll be good,” Ainge said. “I think he’d be a really good coach.
“During college games, I call and talk to him about that. I talk to him about the Celtics and what he sees. He sees the same things that we see. You know, we need to do better in this part of the game or that part of the game. Just normal talk. You know, ‘We looked flat,’ or ‘The team looked great.’ It’s just the usual talk.”
Remember all those people doubting whether Rondo and Stevens could co-exist during this season and beyond? Those voices have been pretty quiet lately, eh? After more glowing talk from Stevens like this, my guess is you won’t hear that kind of baseless speculation again anytime soon.