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Rajon Rondo unsurprisingly is not concerned with the Heat

Jul 25, 2010, 11:37 AM EDT

The defining characteristic of the Boston Celtics is their defense. Their second defining characteristic is arrogance. This isn’t a bad thing. The Celtics, like all great teams, pride themselves on being the team they consider the best. All season long they kept the same mantra: the only team that can beat them is themselves. This was entirely accurate until they faced the Lakers, where that list became two teams. Themselves, and the Lakers.

So naturally, with the Heat being considered instant contenders for the title, someone decided to ask Rajon Rondo, the brashest of the brash, what he thought of the Heat while he’s out in Vegas practicing for Team USA.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports caught up with Rondo and here’s what he had to say:

“They should be good, but they ain’t done nothing yet,” Rondo said after
a recent practice during Team USA’s minicamp. “They ain’t done
nothing.”

This is a true statement. The Heat in its current incarnation has literally never done anything, having not practiced or even been in the same room with each other yet.

But there’s more!

“What is there to be nervous for?” he said. “I’m worried about L.A.
That’s the team we need to beat. Miami looks really good on paper, and
I’m sure they’re going to be really good. But they still have to come
together as a team. I’m not saying they won’t, but who knows if those
guys can jell?

“Our biggest opponent each night is ourselves – that’s how I look at
it. Not to be cocky or anything, but that’s how we honestly feel. We are
the defending [Eastern] champs. Once the first game of the regular
season starts, that’s irrelevant. But we are going to go into training
camp looking to get back to the Finals and win it.”

Besides the fact that I would assume the verb would be ‘gel’ there, it’s pretty clear Rondo’s not a fan of the idea that a team that is made up of three superstars can just come together, use their talents, and win a championship based on talent and desire of elite players. You know, the exact same thing the Celtics did in 2008.

One more, for the road:

“Things aren’t going to go each guy’s particular way. It’s going to be about how they handle it as gentlemen.”

You know, gentlemen. Like punching players in the face and throwing them into tables. That kind of gentleman. Rondo’s a great competitor and a terrific player. I just found it funny that a player often considered as brash as he is, by both opposing players and even his own coaching staff would talk about being a gentleman.

  1. James - Jul 25, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Luffy, you are exactly right if you say the 2008 Olympic team won the gold metal because of the assistance of Kobe Bryant.
    There will be no Kobe Bryant playing for the Miami Heat nor more than there will be a Lebron James, Dwayne Wade or Chris Boch playing for the Lakers.
    My point is that these three gentlemen have a history of putting their egos aside and have gelled to together to be personal friends.They have shown these rare qualities when they played with the Olympic team and so I have no doubt they have this same chemistry to play like this in Miami.
    Also understand the size of both James and Wade. Wade is not just 6’4″ he is 220 lbs. James is not just 6’8″ hes is 240 lbs. These guys are not just quick they have the upper body strength to push their opponents around and thus tire them out by the late 3rd and 4th quarters of a typical NBA game. Miami already have their version of “Dennis Rodman” and based on the performance he gave during the 2006 NBA finals, Udonis Haslem is about as close as they come.

  2. luffy - Jul 25, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    Understand, they’re close friends and that is quite a good chemistry to start with, let’s see how they play together next season then…
    Rose, Brewer, Deng, Boozer and Noah all has upper body strength too. That’s gonna be a pretty interesting match-up w/Miami…
    Still I’m rooting for the LA 3peat…

  3. gray - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    “If teams based in nice locations with a generous tax advantage can garnish the superstars like this, it will automatically make it impossible for many teams to compete.”
    if this is the case, more “superstars” would have joined the heat (at least) after they won the championship. the way i see it, they sacrificed and did not spend for 2-3 years. that is how one normally gets to buy something (a car, a house, a dinner), by saving.
    i guess the miami heat organization got lucky getting all 3 (wade, bosh, james), all were free agents and are friends.

  4. LeBum - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    Don’t forget that when Garnett arrived to the Celtics that he brought in a fierce defensive mindset that the whole team addopted. I don’t see LeBron doing that to the Heat. Especially if he is out partying in Vegas and not worrying about how he had to best record in basketball for two straight seasons and still doesn’t put the time in off the court to get better.

  5. Jim - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    Not much of a disagreement from me on your comment. Obviously there were other teams trying to do the same thing. As a matter of fact, any team in the league would have done what the Miami organization accomplished. The problem with those teams that “had” dumped their payroll was that the three players in question had already intended to join forces a long time ago. By going to Miami to join forces with Wade made it easier to do with the tax savings. What happened here is unprecedented. These guys set the mark. No particular person or organization is to blame. The problem here is that if three of the top players in the world can join forces to get a ring…Where and when will it stop? When any given sport no longer has a level playing field, the championships derived from it are tainted and the sport becomes lethargic. Whether or not Miami succeeds with what they are doing, the bar has been set and players will join forces with other players to determine who and what team win championships. The NBA is going to have to do something or they are in big trouble.

  6. luffy - Jul 26, 2010 at 5:41 AM

    As long as the Lakers have Kobe, Pau, Andrew, Ronron, Lamar, etc., it doesn’t really matter. Stars could go wherever the hell and team up w/who they want but still the Lakers are gonna beat they’re ass…

  7. DK - Jul 26, 2010 at 6:54 AM

    Again, Heat haven’t achieved any thing as yet Celtics are the Eastern champions and Lakers are the ultimate champions. Every thing else is up in the air at this stage and we need to wait and see how Lebron can team up succesfully with Wade and make it happen.

  8. Jim - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    I agree the Lakers are the team to beat. I hope though that LA doesn’t get the chance to play Miami in the championship game. Let it be Boston, Orlando, or Chicago. Purchasing a championship doesn’t sit well with me. As if it wasn’t enough that the three players involved were in collusion with each other, they are reportedly taking less money so that Miami can get better talent around them. No real sacrifice here in regards to money or as an organization in building a team. They’ll get their money through various other means. And now they are getting some good veterans who are at the end of their careers and are hoping for a ring. I guess we will see.

  9. the man in mia - Jul 26, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Sorry Chris, but Dwade is the best shot blocking guard in the league.
    Whats that? oh was Dwade the shortest player to have 100 blocks in nba history? oh thats right. Stop talking out of your as s. Lebron was first team all defensive team, and dwade was 2nd team. Learn about basketball and then talk.

  10. The Wiz - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    D-Wade; C-Bosh & LB-James please listen to the Wiz: (1) The ball from every rebound, every steal and every fast break-away to the opponents basket should be given to LBJ. He runs ahead of everybody and can always get the ball very quickly into the basket with his fast pace athletic nature. (2) Leave all the dribbles and jumpers to D-wade. This does not mean that the right and left three point shooters are relieved of their duty to shoot the threes when they are set up to do it. (3) Leave the 10 to 12 feet jumpers and the pick n rolls to C-Bosh. He is the best at making those baskets. (4) Get a point guard, avery good ball handler who can always be able to break down the defense or cut through the zone. LBJ and Emmanuel can always share the shot blocking. (5) Set up every short jumper from inside the paint for Haslem. He is the best at it. If Ilgauskius perfects the three point shot from a pick n roll, Maimi Heat would be difficult to beat. Do not forget that the bench players must be very good defense players because while the starters are resting, they would be keeping the opponents from scoring much.

  11. bballfan - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    in my opinion, i have to agree with rajon hes not dissing miami hes stating a fact, i personally think that the teaming was a shame and that lbj perposely disappeared in the last 2 playoffs to make it easier to escape to miami, and for that i have lost respect for him as a man, i still respect his bball skills, dwade is the man he is now and forever will be but i am sorry for him there will be an sterisk next to him name he got his first ring because of shaq, he may get his second because of….etc. as for egos yeah they all played on the olypic team and they all played well and shared but htats not the NBA and i still think that LBJ’s ego is going to surface cuz he has always felt he is the man and it is his team now he has gone to dwades TEAM, if they are winning im sure he will be hunky dorry, but when they start losing his attitude will arise and he will start thinking he needs the ball and to be blunt dwade is a better all around player than james, and although james was 1st team defense lets be honest hes not that great a defender he has a very bad habit of over playing his man and gets burned a lot by off the dribble players, c bosh sorry guys im not on the band wagon hes an ok player in my opinion not really in the same caliber as dwade lbj or even carlos boozer. next year should be fun but i seriously doubt the great experiment is gonna work ..aka lakers 04, too many stars not enough hardwood

  12. Zachariah Blott - Jul 26, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Here’s a complete primer on how the Celtics, Magic, or Lakers could beat the Heat this year.
    http://www.hoopskarma.com/hk/2010/7/26/how-to-beat-the-heat.html

  13. Big Dog 34 - Jul 26, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    I read these articles and comments on a daily basis and never ceases to amaze me how so many of these comments are full of spite. It’s also amazes me how much spite is directed at these guys that were fairly well liked and respected for the most part before they all signed with Miami. I think those of you who are so critical of these guys and the Miami organization should maybe take a step back and think for minute. The “professional” basketball and for those of you who have made comments like “They are trying to buy the championship.” Your right, they are, but don’t be so critical because every other team in the NBA is doing the same thing just with different levels of succes. If any group of good players wants to get together within the confines of the rules and be on the same team to try and win a championship go for it! We shouldn’t be mad at them for doing it. I try to get on the best team I can when I play at the gym, why shouldn’t?

  14. T. Rogers - Jul 26, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    It’s a basketball thread, not an English lit thread. I understood his sentiment just fine. And Rondo is right. Heat fans (who just appeared out of nowhere) act like the rest of planet Earth is suppose to cower in fear because LeBron, Wade, and Bosh got together. They will be a very good team. But its championship or bust for them. Anything less than a title makes every season a failure for those guys. There is more pressure on the Heat than on the two time defending champ Lakers.

  15. Stallion John - Jul 26, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    3 all stars – a decent backup center- Miller in charge of Long Distance delivery. The three ALL STAR factor should be worth at least 15- 20 wins and put them -seemingly- in the 70 wins column.
    Anything less than 68-70 wins AND a place in the conference finals is a failure both on Pat Riley and for the 3 queens in Miami.
    NO WAY as an MVP would I ever go to another stars team. They should come to ME. That happened because LBJ wasn’t a man -nor -THE MAN in there discussions.

  16. T. Rogers - Jul 26, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Are you sure about 70 wins? Every year there is talk of a team hitting 70 wins and it never happens. The Heat will get every teams BEST shot every night. They will land somewhere between 55 and 65 wins.
    And you are right about LeBron not being the man. Wade is clearly the smartest person in that group. Him and Riley are playing LeBron against his own ego. Of course, LeBron is too busy partying with his crew to see it.

  17. Josh - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    uhhh, actually the new Miami team HAS done nothing.

  18. Qman - Jul 27, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    It’s all moot anyway. The NBA and David Stern will decides who wins and direct the referees that way. This is as close a league to the WWE as you will ever see and someday the truth will come out.

  19. luffy - Jul 27, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    I’m a Lakersfan and actually agree w/Salty, I think it’s gonna be Lakers-Celtics again next season as it should be. I’m not jumping on that Miami bandwagon, Chicago or Boston could smoke their ass in the semis…
    Lakers 3peat can’t be stopped, added up Barnes, Blake and Ratliff, scaaarryyy…

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