Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier today that Celtics point guard, Rajon Rondo, led a team retreat in LA last week.
Hoopsvibe's very quick call: Rondo is certainly asserting himself as the leader on the team.
Apparently, the Celtics spent last week in Los Angeles, scrimmaging at UCLA, getting used to their new teammates and even playing a game of flag football. After juggling the idea of having the mini-retreat in Las Vegas, Rondo, the event-planner, decided on Los Angeles, where both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce own homes.
The only player to not attend the team building out west was Darko Milicic.
Rondo called the week "a week of bonding," which he thought would be useful in helping the team gel in the offseason; and also due to the fact that the team has many new players, including Jason Terry and Courtney Lee.
"I wanted J.T. to play with Kevin. I wanted Courtney to see how Paul likes to play. I wanted Paul and Jeff Green to go at each other," Rondo told Yahoo! Sports. "I wanted the guys to have fun," Rondo continued. "When you're with me I want you to say, 'Man, I had a good time with Rondo.' And I think that's what they did."
One way of showing the guys a good time was to organize a flag football game (with referees) at UCLA. Rondo cited that the only teammates who didn't participate in the football game were Paul Pierce and 7-foot, 255-pound rookie Fab Melo, who Rondo said, "might hurt somebody."
"My team won. We dominated. I had seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. I had a nice kickoff return back," the modest point guard said. He went on saying, "We had fun. K.G. was the quarterback of the other team, but they had to sub him out because he wasn't getting any touchdowns."
But Rondo made it clear that it wasn't all just playing games and having fun in the sun. With the season coming up quickly, there is also plenty of business to take care of.
"The game is about tempo," he said. "We don't want to make it more complicated. It's just basketball. I am just trying to get the timing with J.T. and Courtney. That is why I wanted to get to work early, so I can know where I want them to be when I drive baseline or drive to the middle and where they like the ball."
Rondo also addressed the situation with Ray Allen, who made a move to the Miami Heat this offseason. Many people reported that Allen and Rondo's tenuous relationship was reason for the trade. In LA last week, Rondo even made a point to squash some of those rumors as well.
"People act like because me and Ray didn't get along or they think me and Ray didn't get along that I'm a bad person or he's a bad person. No. It's just life. If you look at your job, everyone doesn't always get along with every co-worker they work with. It's just part of life. People are blowing the Ray thing out of proportion. We had some words, but other than that it was no big deal."
As much as he says it's no big deal now, his mind may change once the Celtics and Heat face each other on opening night this season. The two teams are set to collide on October 30th; and the Heat will also be hanging their championship banner that same night. Talk about opening the season with a bang.
And while we're on the subject, who do you think will win on opening night, Hoopsvibers? Can the Celtics upset the Heat and former teammate Ray Allen in Miami? On the night they hang their title banner?
Regardless of what happens, it will definitely be fun to watch.
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