SI.com: Is it difficult to play for a coach who has been a point guard, who has done what you are doing? RR: Doc wasn't just a bum; he was a good player, he made All-Star Games. And he played with great players like Dominique [Wilkins], like I'm playing with great players now. So he understands the game, he's been through everything I've been going through and he understands what I've been going through. Still, it's difficult at times to play for a coach who's played the point guard position because he's critiquing everything you do. But at the end of the day, he's on my side, he's trying to make me better.
Doc wasn't a bum. I'm sure Coach is relieved that his point guard skills as a player rose to an acceptable level for #9. My favorite part of the interview, other than the fact that Rondo's put on 27 pounds of lean body weight since joining the team, is this part:
SI.com: Back to the court -- with all of the changes Orlando and Cleveland made over the summer, do you think the Celtics will have to take a different approach with those two rivals? RR: I think they'll have to play us differently. We want to make teams adjust to us. That's how Doc coaches and that's what we try to do when we play.
No matter how long I live, this is one of the top five mantras of professional sports. You take care of your own house, you play your game, and let the other guys worry about you. Sometimes you have to make the other guys worry about you. But this was the credo of the 1986 team, and has been Doc's credo over the last two years.
Let's see if were good enough to live by it again.
Finally, Rondo talks a lot about being a veteran team, the need to stay healthy, and hints that the annual race to win home court in the playoffs isn't that important, since all it takes is one road win in a playoff series to reverse the advantage. This sounds good to me. But I'm pretty sure once the season starts, we'll be fighting hammer and claw for every win we can get.
That might be OK this year, as we have a deeper bench to play that way.