"He is the most underappreciated leader in this league," Dooling recently said of Rondo, according to ESPN.com. "Do you know how many times we were at the Rondo family home [last season]? We were there all the time, bonding, building team chemistry.
"Honestly, our veterans didn't do a very good job of supporting him in his [leadership] role."
Rondo has developed a great deal over the course of his six-year NBA career, to the point where he's the Celtics' centerpiece. Veterans such as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce continue to applaud the young poing guard's leadership efforts, but there's been plenty of speculation in the wake of Ray Allen's departure that he and Rondo didn't get along. Dooling took some time to discuss the differences between the two.
"Ray was great in many ways," Dooling told ESPN.com. "Rondo learned a lot from him — how to prepare, how to take care of his body, how to be professional.
"But the way Ray led was different than how Rajon did it. Not wrong, just different.
"Ray didn't know how to communicate with Rondo the way some of us could, like myself, like KG, who fully embraced Rajon.
"I love Ray. I love his family. He's a true pro. But it's unfair how this all came out. Ray had such a good relationship with all the reporters and Rondo was so quiet. So who gets all the good press?
"Sometimes it felt like Ray spent more time talking to the media than he did to his teammates.''
Rondo called the idea that he refused to pass the ball to Allen "ridiculous," while also noting that their relationship is in the past now. That's a good thing for the Celtics considering the disappointing ending to last season and the task at hand in the Eastern Conference this season.
It all starts and ends with Rondo in 2012-13, but then again, that's something that's been the case for a few seasons now. Only this time, Rondo's growing leadership is becoming more and more obvious.