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Paul Pierce says there’s no question that Rajon Rondo can be ‘the man’ in Boston

Aug 18, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo AP

The Celtics decided it was time to rebuild for the future this offseason, so they traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets.

The team hung onto Rajon Rondo, however, and despite many teams lining up to try to steal the All-Star point guard away, Boston maintained all along that it had no intention of making such a deal.

The Celtics want to see how Rondo returns from the ACL injury that prematurely ended his season, and believe, at least for now, that he’s capable of leading the team into its next era of success.

Pierce is a believer, as well.

From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

“Without question [he can be the man in Boston],” Pierce said. “I’ve already talked to Rajon; Rajon’s mature. People talk about the relationship with Doc [Rivers], and they probably had their best years over the last two years. So I don’t think that was a reason for Doc leaving. I’ve heard that, but that wasn’t a reason for Doc not coming back.

“Rondo is one of the best players in the league. He’s a guy who can be the face of a franchise. He’s won a championship, he’s been an All-Star. There’s a lot of organizations who don’t even have a face of that caliber.

“I definitely think he’s matured and can handle a lot. I talked to him and he’s ready for the challenge. He knows that it’s his team. He knows he has to be a leader, and from being around me and Kevin [Garnett] and seeing how we work.”

Pierce is almost always a straight shooter, and would have deflected the question if he didn’t feel like disparaging his former teammate, or that his words weren’t indicative of exactly how he feels.

That being said, the knock on Rondo to this point has been an icy personality that doesn’t always mesh with teammates or those in the front office. That’ll have to thaw a little in order for Rondo to take on the leadership role in Boston that’s his if he wants it, but it’s certainly nice to get such a solid endorsement from a player with Pierce’s credentials.

  1. jammer73 - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Don’t know if he can bet man but he can definitely be the punk.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Wade is a bigger punk than Rondo. Rondo has an attitude problem some days but he has never intentionally injured another player. That’s what I call a punk.

      • soxwin91 - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        Wade may be a “bigger punk” but Rajon Rondo is still a punk. I live in Boston, and I honestly want Rondo to leave the Celtics ASAP. Trade him, or watch him leave via Free Agency — I don’t care which — I just want him gone.

      • emosnar - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        His competitive edge gets mistaken for a bad attitude. Oh and the way he looks when he has to answer dumb ass questions for the media doesn’t help either.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    I’m excited. Look I have no illusions of how painful this season might be but let’s see what happens without going into it with a negative attitude. Might as well have some story line outside win-loss record.

    He has never played without a future HOF’er on his team. I can’t wait too see if he can do it.

  3. emosnar - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Writers kill me taking someone quotes and clarifying in their own words what he or she really meant. Ok. Whatever writer guy. Rondo’s “icy” personality doesn’t mess well with the MEDIA so continue with the swipes. His teammates are younger than him, front office obviously loves him (they paid and kept him). And any so called beef with former players well other than B&*$ass Allen, KG and Pierce loved him. Dude is a leader, tough as nails, Champion, All-star. Quit knit picking because you don’t like his answer or scowl.

    RAJON RONDO – Hands down the best point guard in the league. Period. Point. Blank!

    PS: I never stepped foot in Massachusetts.

  4. onlyavoice - Aug 18, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Ainge Is Drolling,
    After Pierces Comments About Rondo He Will Now Ask For Every Player & Draft Pick A Team Has For Rondo.
    Rondo Is Good As Gone As Soon As He’s Playing Well & Rondo Knows This.
    The Only Thing That Will Keep Rondo A Celtic Is Ainge Asking Price.
    As We’ve All Read The Last 3 Seasons, He Wanted Everything For Pierce & Allen & Teams Declined.

    • cardswin519 - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Why do you capitalize every word? It is really distracting.

  5. cardswin519 - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    With a torn ACL, still the second best point guard in the league.

  6. doublezero74 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Why do you capitalize every first letter? It’s quite impressive

  7. 00maltliquor - Aug 19, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    He’s been the man the last 2 years, what’s he talking about.

  8. runthepicketfence - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    I’ll buy into those discussions about Rondo being “one of the best players in the league” when he learns how to make a wide open 15 footer. I’m a Celtics fan and its frustrating as he!! to watch teams double down while daring Rondo to shoot the ball. It can’t be denied that the kid has crazy skills, but this drives me nuts.

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