Rajon Rondo spent five years of his career playing with three Basketball Hall-of-Famers when he played for the Boston Celtics: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. While talking with JJ Redick on “The Old Man & The Three,” Rondo revealed how impactful Garnett was on him.
“KG stands out the most, his mindset, his approach, his discipline. Every day after practice, he would do the same routine. He was the most disciplined guy that he put his work in every day, he knew what shots he was going to shoot on the floor, and he practiced those every day, so in the game, when he made those shots, it was a no-brainer why he was such a great player,” Rondo said.
Rondo then explained why Garnett was his favorite teammate.
“On the court as a teammate, (Garnett)’s by far my favorite,” Rondo said. “He’s so unselfish. I remember Doc (Rivers) made a comment… He was talking about how (Garnett)’s the most unselfish player on the team… He was talking about if anybody hit the floor, Kevin was the first to run from all the way across the court to help his teammate up. He would sacrifice his body setting picks. He never complained about getting the ball. Paul and Ray wanted the ball all the time. Every once in a while, KG gave me that look like, ‘Bring that motherf****er down here,’ but other than that, he was always willing to sacrifice. He took less shots when he came to Boston, and obviously, he knew that coming in, but to see him go through it when we did have adversity, he never wavered as far as who he was as a player and a profesional. I learned a lot from him, and he taught me a lot.
Rajon Rondo Wanted to Out-Coach Brad Stevens
“When I was going against the Celtics when I played for the Bulls, my whole mindset that entire series was to beat Brad Stevens,” Rondo said. “I was working on fourth-quarter execution plays that we could run in the fourth that Stevens hadn’t seen us play yet. So when we did run those plays, they weren’t able to make those counters or adjustments.”
Rondo then detailed the preparations he took for the series.
“I think I watched maybe like four or five of (Stevens’) games to where his fourth quarter plays they were calling sets that they ran for Isaiah (Thomas), (Al) Horford in that particular series to get ahead of the curve.”
Dalano Banton Looked Up to Rajon Rondo
Taylor Snow of Celtics.com revealed that Rondo was one of Dalano Banton’s biggest influences as a basketball player growing up.
“From a young age, Banton modeled his game after former Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo. He stuck with the position, even after experiencing a massive growth spurt in high school, rising from 5-foot-9 as a freshman to 6-foot-6 by his junior year,” Snow wrote on August 23.
Banton has demonstrated his playmaking abilities, which could be very useful given that he is six-foot-eight compared to Rondo, who is six-foot-one.