Thursday, January 2, 2014
Ainge: Rondo's idea to work with Claws
By Chris Forsberg
So desperate to participate in 5-on-5 action, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo invaded the Celtics' managerial offices last month trying to recruit bodies to help test his knee in a game-like environment.
According to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, Rondo failed in that quest, which in part led to him initiating discussions about joining the Maine Red Claws of the D-League in order to gain practice reps.
"So we’ve been talking to Rajon -- he’s just looking for opportunities," Ainge said Thursday during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub. "It’s funny, About 10 days ago he was looking for the guys in the office to get their gear on to go down and play 5-on-5 against him. There’s not enough practice time -- there have been 5-on-5 practice, but we’re not playing game-like and going up and down, we've been playing so many games.
"He’s anxious to practice and to play. It was his idea [to consider Maine], actually, to go practice with the Red Claws and possibly play with Maine Red Claws at some point. But those are still in discussion. I’m not sure when he would do that, but that’s probably the next step."
Ainge noted that, at the moment, the team plans to have Rondo traveling with the Celtics during a five-game trip out west that starts with Sunday's visit to Oklahoma City Thunder. That would suggest that Rondo might not head north with the D-League until some time after Jan. 11 if he ultimately elects to pursue that option.
It remains uncertain whether Rondo would participate in game action for Maine, something that has never really happened with an established NBA player on a rehab assignment (Amare Stoudemire did practice for Erie while on assignment from the New York Knicks).
"It really hasn’t [happened], but it should," Ainge said of star players competing in games during rehab assignments. "You see it in baseball a lot -- rehab in Pawtucket and so forth. That’s very common."
Ainge said the activity in Maine could help Rondo both mentally and physically.
"I think Rajon is very sensitive to not being a detriment to his team, and coming back and playing without really playing," said Ainge. "I think he wants to get some of the rust off and not hurt his team when he gets back... I think he wants to help the team."