BOSTON — Rajon Rondo didn’t go as far as his boss and use the “L” word, but the Boston Celtics point guard did echo Wyc Grousbeck’s sentiment.
Grousbeck, managing partner of the Celtics, lauded Rondo in a recent interview with The Boston Globe, raving, “I love the guy.” Without going so far as to say he would never trade the four-time All-Star, Grousbeck did compare Rondo to Paul Pierce, his predecessor as Celtics captain and a beloved figure among fans.
Those words resounded with Rondo, who has been a magnet for controversy over the last few weeks.
“It means a lot, especially coming from the head guy,” Rondo said. “With all the rumors swirling and criticism that was happening through the last couple weeks, he stuck his neck out. He didn’t have to say anything, but he did. I’ve talked to Wyc since then and everything is the way it’s supposed to be.”
Pierce enjoyed a close yet professional relationship with Grousbeck and other members of the Celtics’ ownership group during his time in Boston. Rondo has formed a similar relationship with Grousbeck, though Rondo is aware that the bond didn’t prevent the Celtics from ultimately trading away Pierce last summer.
“We had a dinner at the beginning of the year and Wyc expressed how he felt about me,” Rondo said. “So, I don’t think he’s a liar. I know he’s not a liar. He didn’t have to tell me anything. Him and I, we spoke, and what he said recently hasn’t changed.”
Rondo has one more season at approximately $12.9 million remaining on his contract after this one. He was the subject of multiple trade rumors before last month’s deadline and drew criticism when he chose not to travel with the team for a game in Sacramento, a decision he dismissively called “my business.” Last week, he declined to speak with reporters after the game, for unknown reasons.
The only public comments made about Rondo by members of the organization, however, have been positive. From the ownership box, if not from the bleachers, Rondo is feeling the love.