Rajon Rondo Admits Not Playing His Entire Career With Celtics May Have Been for the Best

Rajon Rondo

Getty Rajon Rondo found the positives of not playing his whole career with the Boston Celtics.

When Rajon Rondo began his NBA career as a rookie during the 2006-07 season with the Boston Celtics, he was frustrated. He admits he wanted a trade during a season in which the Celtics finished with a 24-58 record and racked up 18 straight losses.

After surviving Year 1 in the league, Rondo helped the Celtics win the 2008 NBA Finals the following season. He spent the first nine years of his professional career in Boston and thought he might be one of those rare players who spends his entire career in one city. He wound up playing for nine different teams and recently said that may have been for the best.


Rajon Rondo Was the Floor General of the Last Boston Celtics Title Team

After Rondo’s ugly rookie season, Danny Ainge, then the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, knew something had to be done. He swung a pair of trades that helped bring the winning tradition back to Boston.

Ainge acquired veteran Ray Allen from the Seattle SuperSonics and then traded five players and a pair of first-round picks to bring in Kevin Garnett. Pairing Allen and Garnett with Paul Pierce gave the Celtics their first true Big Three since Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish.

Rondo believed (and hoped) he was one of the five players headed to the Minnesota Timeberwolves in the deal for Garnett.

“I remember the first day when the trade happened, my name was on the (television) screen,” Rondo recalled during a recent appearance on the “View From the Rafters” podcast. “I was sitting at home at my mom’s house, and I see my name on the screen. I was kind of relieved, like I was getting out of there because I wanted an opportunity to play and showcase my talent.”

Ainge decided to hold on to Rondo, and the decision helped Boston win their first championship since 1986. The Celtics improved their win total by 42 and then defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals in seven games.


The Celtics Traded Rondo in 2014

Rondo’s time in Boston came to an end in December 2014 when the Celtics pulled the trigger on a trade with the Dallas Mavericks. Rondo played just 46 games with the Mavs before signing a free-agent deal with the Sacramento Kings. That was just the beginning of a wild ride that saw him suit up for eight different teams in seven seasons.

During the podcast, Rondo was asked by Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande about playing for so many different teams in his professional career. It’s a question Rondo says he gets all the time.

“For me personally, I’m thankful I was able to experience living in so many different cities,” Rondo said. “I’ve lived in Chicago. Lived in Dallas, Sacramento, Los Angeles — and get paid to do it? I’m thankful for that experience in life.

“I’m thankful that I did have the opportunity to play for different teams, different cities, different experiences. I’m able to network and reach out to different people and teams.”

Rondo was a four-time All-Star and led the league in assists three seasons.

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