Much has been said this offseason about how Rondo will handle his new role of unquestioned leader of the team. With him being the best player on the team by far, he’ll have to lead his team by example. Many media folks who are always looking to disregard him say he’s not vocal enough and he does not have the temper of a leader.
KG was as vocal as one could get, but what was what really showed everyone his leadership? His work ethic on the court. The dude was always giving 110% out there, and everyone else could no nothing else than replicate that effort.
*related: this was on the board today.
That’s what Rondo will have to do, even if he can’t be playing on the court with his guys. He’ll have to show them what hard work really is. Also, of course, he’ll have to throw out instructions and tips to the guys as he watches from the sidelines.
Om Media Day, Rajon talked about what KG and Truth taught him about leadership: “Just that hard work speaks for itself. Talk is cheap, but when you go out there and prove it, when you’re the first one to show up in practice and you’re the last one to leave, that’s how you lead by example,” Rondo said. “You follow what coach says, always on the same page as Coach Stevens, and you just gotta go out there and support your team.”
Everyone knows Rondo is THE guy on the Celtics right now, so whatever he does will be huge for the rest.
According to Chris Forsberg from ESPN he’s already started on the right track from Day 1:
“He went through the morning workout and he’s probably going to do one workout per day,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Then he took the afternoon off, but he was very active in the afternoon. He was in the huddle, he was in the drills as far as communicating. You saw him leading our stretching at the end, he was really active today.”
Rondo took the captain-like position in the center of Boston’s post-practice stretch at midcourt following the afternoon session, then was one of the last players out of the gym — herding his teammates as they caught the bus back to the team hotel.
Celtics second-year forward Jared Sullinger, who is also working his way back from February surgery, said Rondo’s leadership was a constant presence on the floor on Tuesday.
“Honestly, he’s been the eyes of the team for many years and he’s still the eyes,” Sullinger said. “He sees what we don’t see and he’s constantly talking to us. Even though he’s not playing, he’s coaching for us. He’s a big-time help.
Pressed on that vocal leadership, Sullinger added, “Second practice, he’s just saying what we sees as far as screening angles, what type of options you have. He’s always in the guards’ ears, telling them what to do. I think as a player of his caliber and his IQ, it really helps everyone else develop even though he’s not playing.”
I’m sure this will be how the rest of training camp goes, and that the trend will continue throughout the preseason and season. You’ll see Rondo being a coach whenever he’s on the bench. He has way too much information to pass to the guys actually playing because how he sees the game is absolutely unique.
And while we’re on Rondo’s leadership topic, it should not be long before he is officially named team captain.