Rondo on Dooling, All-Star, commercials
January, 14, 2013
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- There was simply too much Rajon Rondo goodness on Monday night to cram into one postgame story, so here are some interesting quotes and notes thax got left on the cutting room floor [Hop HERE to read our story on Rondo's triple-double performance]:
* DOOLING'S LOCKER ROOM IMPACT: Rondo noted there was a renewed swagger in the Celtics' locker room amidst a six-game win streak and was asked who had provided vocal leadership in helping reverse Boston's fortunes. Rondo initially quipped, "Besides myself?" Then pointed to Keyon Dooling, the former Celtics player who retired this offseason and is now the director of player development for the team. "Keyon Dooling's helped, actually. He's been in the locker room helping guys out. His personality, I think it started with him, and I just try to lead, play my songs in here. I haven't let you listen to them yet, but a couple of my tracks I play in here to get these guys going before the game." Pressed on the music, Rondo (seemingly?) joked, "No, my songs. I'm on the track."
* DEFENSE IS FUELING OFFENSE IN TRANSITION: Echoing what coach Doc Rivers has preached, Rondo is thriving when the Celtics run. Rivers has implored his team to pick up the pace, and Rondo's ability to find the open man in transition is the primary reason. "I think our defense is creating mismatches on the offensive end," Rondo said. "When guys are wide open or they're cross-matched in transition, it's easy for me to pick the defense apart. A couple times tonight I ended up with a big on me and I attacked the big. Other times a big was on me, another big was on [Jason Terry] or Avery [Bradley], left them open for corner 3s and they were knocked down tonight. And like I said, we had a lot of good mismatches in transition and that allowed us to get the lead early on in the game."
* A QUIET ALL-STAR WEEKEND: Rondo was noncommittal when asked whether he'd participate in any of the weekend festivities at this year's All-Star game in Houston. He's previously competed in HORSE and the skills competition, but said before Monday's game, "I've got to make All-Star first, so we'll see what happens then. I don't like to commit that early. I'd rather make All-Star then consider the other things." Rondo was seemingly a slam dunk for the Eastern Conference backcourt in early returns on fan voting, but said he'd enjoy the downtime if he wasn't selected. When a reporter jokingly asked if he'd go back to Mexico -- where he previously said he jetted during a two-game suspension -- Rondo replied, "I won't go back to Mexico. I'll probably do something different."
* RONDO AND SPORTSCENTER: Rondo's "big hands" SportsCenter commercial debuted on Monday (watch HERE). Asked if he enjoyed the filming back in September before the start of training camp, Rondo said, "I had a great time doing the commercial... I shot it a long time ago. I thought they, because of my suspensions, they just said, 'Forget the commercial.'" That elicited laughter from reporters before Rondo added, "No, it was a fun time. I met a lot of the cast members and it was quick. It wasn't that long. I had a good time."