Doc Rivers sat down with WEEI, and talked about some great stuff. One of the things he talked about: His increasing love and admiration for Rajon Rondo.
If Doc had to pay to watch one player in the NBA, and he couldn’t pick Lebron James, he might just pick the skinny lightning rod out of Kentucky.
In your mind, what’s the difference between the most exciting player in the NBA and the most talented?
Oh, I don’t know, LeBron might be both right now.
Well, LeBron aside, I find him more exciting to watch than Kobe. Him aside, who is the best and who is the most entertaining to watch? Because I think you might have one on your team.
Well, you like [Rajon] Rondo. He’d be up there, you have Dwyane Wade and Kobe still, who does so much for the game and is so exciting to watch. I would put Rondo in that category, as far as being exciting to watch, there’s no doubt about that.
How many other point guards in the NBA would you prefer to run your team, aside from Rondo?
Well, I’m biased, so I would just take Rondo, because he is my point guard, so I wouldn’t even look at another point guard. There are some great point guards in the league, we’ve seen a couple of them the last two games, in Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups, but we have Rondo and he’s my guy.
What’s his most exciting attribute that makes you go, “Wow.” Is it the speed, the defense, the steals, what impresses you the most?
I would say his vision and speed, the combination. You rarely see a guy that plays at the speed that he plays at and has the vision that he has – he has unbelievable vision for a guard, so I would say those two things.
Are you OK with Rondo’s flare for the dramatic, like a behind-the-back bounce pass to Tony Allen – which by the way, was perfect last night.
When it works. Yeah, I am. When it doesn’t work, I’m not that happy about it. There are times when he does like the flare for the dramatic instead of keeping it simple, and the timing of those plays sometimes is dangerous. That happens in the fourth quarter, we turn the ball over and the other team scores and make a run, it’s not that exciting anymore. But you have to let a guy have his personality, and that’s Rondo’s personality. All I always get on him is, value the ball. If it works, I’m fine with it, but you have to always value the ball. The playoffs are an every possession game, and that’s the only concern I have.
Have you ever seen him smile?
He does all the time. I like his intensity. It’s amazing intensity. Sometimes I think it hurts him at times, because he gets so down on himself when things aren’t going right. I thought that happened in the Utah game — he got a foul that he wasn’t happy with, Deron Williams was playing unbelievable, and I thought that effected his play during the game, and that’s the one thing still has to improve on, but he’s so much better than he was last year, so he is improving on it.
Rondo has quickly become a must-watch talent, and I find myself more enthralled every day by his ability to make the absurd seem effortless. Things like his left-handed around-the-back pass to himself the other day — which are absurdly difficult to do standing while still with nobody defending you, never mind at a breakneck pace with NBA All-Stars breathing down your neck — just bring you to your feet and make you think, “How?”
If you want to read more of Doc’s interview, or even if you don’t, I encourage you to do so. He discusses the Celtics’ return to health, Tony Allen’s emergence as a defensive stopper (and his tendency to turn the ball over), Rasheed Wallace’s shooting, and the bottom-four seed in the East that will be the most dangerous. Read it. Now.