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Kevin Garnett says he showed Rondo how to lead Celtics

Sep 12, 2013, 8:44 AM EDT

Celtics' Garnett talks with Rondo during a time out against Knicks in the second half during their NBA basketball game in New York Reuters

Rajon Rondo was arguably the best player on the Celtics the past two seasons, but he was not the team leader. Kevin Garnett was, with Paul Pierce (and a couple seasons back Ray Allen) in that mix as well.

Now, Rondo has been thrust into the roll of unquestioned leader of a young, rebuilding Boston team.

Garnett said that should be no problem, he showed Rondo how to do lead. Which is more than just teaching him how to scowl — it’s to lead by example. And scowl. Garnett explained it to (via Eye on Basketball) when asked what the most important thing he showed Rondo was:

“About leadership. I feel like one of the things I always tried to stress to him is, when you’re a leader, you lead by example. It’s not a lot about what you say, it’s a lot about what you do.”

On whether Rondo can push the new Celtics back to the top:

“Absolutely. I’m sure he’s going to push them to make the team better, and (president of basketball operations Danny Ainge) is going to do just that. The franchise has always been used to winning. They have a new coach and new system up there, so I’m thinking that’s going to be a plus. I wish them all the best, man. I have no ill will towards anything in Boston.”

In the past Rondo hasn’t really hasn’t been a leader by example: He was suspended a game last season for bumping a referee, and another two games following a fight with the Nets; then back in 2012 he was suspended two games for throwing a ball at an official. It’s something he needs to work on, because Boston needs him on the court.

Rondo might be able to lead, but leadership is no substitute for on the court talent, and that’s what Boston is lacking. They have some nice pieces in Rondo and Avery Bradley, but this is a roster being turned over and there’s only so far Rondo can lead them. By example or otherwise.

  1. 1historian - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Next year’s Free Agent crop is supposed to be pretty good and the Celts will be active there, but Ainge is planning on rebuilding this team mainly via the draft. He has 9 #1 choices in the next 5 drafts, including 2 next year when the Celts will probably be in the lottery and next year’s draft is supposed to be one of the best in years.

    As for Rondo – if he gets back and is fully recovered, then it’s up to him. If he takes over as leader of the team that’s great, but if he continues to be a PITA (figure it out) he will quickly find that Ainge is as ruthless as they come, and he – Rondo – will be history.

  2. j0esixpack - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I think pretty much every Celtics fan expects a developmental year for the coach, Rondo as “leader” and all players – good hard play, that result in losses and the high draft pick in a deep draft is the best likely outcome.

    It’s a rare “no pressure” season in which we simply expect to see the foundation for success built.

    Ainge has the draft picks to build upon – which he can use or trade for players after next season when expectations will begin to grow.

    As fans, while we will have to be patient, it will be fascinating to see what Ainge chooses to do in future free agency periods andwith the many draft picks he’s acquired

  3. raycharlesj - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Yea, Rondo “leading” by Example??? More like Example of how NOT to act or what not to do!!! Good luck with leading buy “example” ha ha ha

  4. jcmeyer10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    We’ve never seen Rondo on a team without a future HOF’er. Let’s see how he leads (during his recovery) and when he comes back.

    Either way, 1historian summed up why to be hopeful, and I think everyone needs to see how Rondo carries himself now that he is truly the top dog.

  5. badintent - Sep 14, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    And here we all thought Doc taught Rondo to how to lead…… by shoving players in the back during games. Of course it was “Honey Nutting KG ” leading by example. Stupid does as stupid is. What’s next for Brooklyn/Boston ? Perkins gets traded to protect KG again. ?They get Chris Brown to throw beer bottles at opposing guards like he did at Tony Parker ?

  6. onlyavoice - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Ray Allen Didn’t Say It, KG Isn’t Saying It & Pierce Isn’t Saying It,
    Rondo Will Be Traded To The Highest Bidder
    As Soon As He’s Healthy.
    Ainge Has No Plans To Keep Him & Will Ask For Everything In Return.

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