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Rondo on Celtics-Heat: ‘It’s not a rivalry. But I still don’t like those guys.’

Jan 21, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

source: Getty Images

Rajon Rondo has returned from injury, but he’s the only star veteran remaining from a team that won a championship in 2008, and had many memorable playoff battles in the years that followed — including against the Miami Heat.

While there may no longer be a rivalry between the two teams based on the talent exodus in Boston, Rondo still has a distaste for playing against the defending champs.

From Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:

Does Rajon Rondo think the Celtics-Heat rivalry is dead, as LeBron James said in November?

“That’s a tough question,” Rondo said. “It’s not a rivalry. But I still don’t like those guys.” …

“To go back and answer your question, I don’t really like anybody I play against,” Rondo said. “That’s just the type of attitude I approach the game with. We’re not friends on the court. Afterwards it’s a different story, but while we’re playing, I’m trying to win.”

It’s no secret Rondo plays with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s a good thing for his teammates.

Besides, the rivalry always seemed to be more of an individual one between James and Paul Pierce, as Pierce reminded us in the preseason the first time he faced LeBron as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.

  1. ravenswhat - Jan 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Because you can’t beat them. Baby.

    • omahakidw - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      Bottom line period

  2. money2long - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    i would feel that rondo would be a player of the people. someone who didnt have all the flashy skills, he’s not a great shooter. he doesn’t jump like westbrook or rose. he’s just feisty. he hustles. he plays defense. he’s gritty. he’s becoming a great player while not be heralded coming into the league. he has that attitude and like this piece just mentioned, plays like he has a chip on his shoulder. that is something i’d think the people would get behind. he didn’t go through his school years getting praised like a king. he got to the league and is making a name for himself with guts and fearlessness. getting in the faces of the like sof kobe and chris paul. he wants to stand his ground and show that he can compete with the big dogs. that is how he has earned kobe’s respect, even if they are ‘enemies’.

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      sounds like you just described a yound D-wade….man i miss that guy..

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Anyone going to make the “don’t worry, there’s lot of young D-Wades running around out there” joke? Anyone?

        Jeez, the Haters must be coasting too.

    • antistratfordian - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Rondo is kind of flashy though – and he was insane at Oak Hill – breaking all sorts of records. It’s unlikely that he didn’t think he was the cat’s pajamas.

      Every top player comes from a place where they were the bee’s knees – and while he may not have been getting national praise quite like “a king” (who does?) his ego was still getting its fair share of stroking. So it’s kind of hard to pass off Rondo as kind of this blue collar, lunch pail guy – he was a flashy superstar coming up.

      • money2long - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        yeah , that same “flashy superstar” almost got dumped in the KG trade of minnesota if not for doc saying the celts should keep him. so what he was a good player where he was at. it’s about a comparison to his peers in the nba. he wasn’t hailed “like a king” . you had that part right. so you have no point.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 21, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        My point is that every first round pick thinks they’re the business. From the outside looking in we may be able to distinguish the difference between the praise one player gets over another, but from their point of view they’re always getting their egos stroked by brown nosers so they can hardly tell the difference.

        Rondo might be so ornery in the pros because he realized he wasn’t the balls like he thought he was.

      • money2long - Jan 21, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        who cares what the individual thinks in this case? clyde drexler thought he was better than jordan. the point was, rondo wasn’t held to high expectations coming out of college to be a potential hall of famer.

        are you following?

        it’s not about how nice you think you are. it’s about how he was scouted, where he was drafted, and how he was looked at while in the league. as just another player.

        you continuously miss the point and are blinded by my use of the word “king”. youre so sensitive. open your eyes.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        “rondo wasn’t held to high expectations coming out of college to be a potential hall of famer.”

        Well neither was Jordan. That applies to almost every player that enters the league – superstars in high-school/college or not. Rondo is not a special case. He was treated like the vast majority of stars in the NBA.

      • money2long - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        yeah, EXCEPT JORDAN HAD AMAZING TOOLS genius. hahaha jordan was as flashy as they come. hence his top 3 status. you missed the point again. jordan was expected to be a good nba. rondo wasn’t held to many expectations. why do you continually confuse your brain ? comparing jordan to rondo..smh. why are you focusing on the hall of fame thing? that is a piece of the pie. jordan hit a big game winner in college. jordan was on the radar. you’re insane.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Not amazing enough. You know, being in the top 3 in the NBA draft doesn’t hold the same weight as being in the top 3 in, say, the NFL. In the NBA draft, if you’re not first, you’re last.

        Generally, people thought MJ was a tremendous athlete who was reckless driver, couldn’t shoot and only a fair ball handler – not a great one. No one in Chicago knew what they had in Jordan until after maybe 2-3 weeks into his rookie season.

        Even Dean Smith only sold Jordan to Rod Thorn as a guy who would eventually “be a good pro.” He didn’t offer anything more than that.

        So Jordan wasn’t held to that many expectations either – his immediate impact came out of nowhere.

        In fact, and oddly enough, the scouting report on Jordan and Rondo coming out of college was strangely similar. Both having similar strengths and weaknesses.

        •“He is a phenomenal athlete with an incredibly quick first step, awesome foot-speed in the open floor, and terrific leaping ability. Rondo also has a gigantic wingspan and enormous hands, which allows him to play much bigger than his size.”

        •“…ability to penetrate seemingly at will. Has incredible body control and takes the ball to the basket and finishes exceptionally well.”

        •“Defensively is where Rondo really made a name for himself as a high school player and initially in college. He has excellent lateral quickness and superbly quick and incredibly big hands.”

        •“The biggest concern about his game revolves around his perimeter shooting ability.”

        •”Rondo began his career with a penchant for the spectacular.”

        •”In a draft completely devoid of legit point guard prospects, many scouts feel that Rondo’s combination of outstanding physical attributes, athleticism and playmaking ability make him the best point guard in this draft.”

        But I digress. Neither were held to the expectations of The King, obviously – you’re right on that point.

      • money2long - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        blah blah blah. do you hear yourself actually comparing jordan’s expectations to rondo’s ? im pretty sure the vast public had no expectations for rondo. scouting reports and expectations are very different.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 27, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        They were about the same.

      • money2long - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:33 PM

        draft order…
        is completely different…
        from the topic of talent

        expectations also are different than talent

        smh. why do you insist on not taking your medication?

        draft order is a diff story. rondo’s talent pales in comparison to what steph curry can do. same goes for rose. rondo’s game doesn’t come with the eye popping athleticism or much fireworks.

        draft order is just a secondary topic to the point. the point is rondo is on a high level playing with just average “talent”. focus on talent. and that is the reason he didn’t come into the league with much fanfare.

        do you follow now ?

        stop pinpointing one thing and trying to make it the main topic.

        the main topic here is that rondo doesn’t do what michael can, ie. jump really high, (not win mvp’s, to be specific because i know u will be a smart azz). rondo doesn’t shoot from near half court. he won’t be jamal crawford and start breaking ankles even like hotsauce. look him up, and1 mixtape player.

        the point was he is on the surface, talent speaking, just a normal guy. but he is being talked about as a potential hall of fame guy. you lose the argument. stop focusing on draft scouting reports. you silly bear.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:04 AM

        I didn’t read this. Next time try to be more concise.

      • money2long - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:21 AM

        you can’t read .
        i just always assumed you had a translator because you’re so dumb.

    • omahakidw - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      Rondo is a clown, sure he hustles, passes very well, plays good defense, but to hate ! That`s a strong word …dislike is more appropriate. Now when ere speaking of point guards, he could`nt hold a candle to either Chris Paul, or Curry from Golden Sate. The reason I haven`t mentioned Tony Parker, or Conley from Memphis is because he could even enter into the conversation with either. Michael Westbrook? No shot there either. This guy needs to just shut-up, and allow his basketball skills to speak for him in stead of giving interviews to whomever is asking. The word is “tact” something he obviously being from Kentucky has no clue of the meaning. This has more to do with being a “poor sport” than anything else. Sometimes someone is better than you. IT HAPPENS !

      • money2long - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        sir, that is my point. rondo doesn’t have the skills that the top tier point guards have. he is very smart however and works hard and is unselfish which is the formula for good passing point guards.

        i don’t think you realized you supported my case. rondo naturally can’t hold a candle to those guys skill wise, but why is he being talked about as a potential hall of famer? because he didn’t let the fact he has no jumper or hops hold him back. when you don’t have those abilities as a guard, you must be crafty. and he has risen to elite grounds based on his attitude to want to show he can run with any point guard regardless of his limitations.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Normally I’d post something in this spot that makes an excellent pro-Miami point a clear, clever, and comedic way. Normally, anything I posted would be unimpeachable and undeniable.

    But this post is weak, trite, and cliche. Certainly not up to the high standard I’ve set for myself.

    Clearly I’m just coasting at this point. The main question is whether I can snap out this funk and be ready to really rip some quality posts come May & June. Guess we’ll have to see.

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