WALTHAM, Mass. — Maybe Rajon Rondo knows something the rest of us don’t.
More at ease than he was at any time during this past season, Rondo joked while parrying questions from reporters Monday at the Boston Celtics’ practice facility. Perched on a stationary bike in the corner while 12 prospects finished their pre-draft workout, Rondo was in good spirits despite coming off one of the more difficult seasons of his NBA career.
“My summer’s been really quiet,” he said. “I’ve just been here in Waltham, rehabbing every day in the morning, then at night come back and shoot some free throws. That’s about it. I’ve been traveling in and out on weekends, but I try to be here at least four or five days a week to rehab every day.”
In his final offseason under contract with the Celtics before he comes up for free agency next summer, Rondo sounded anything but eager to get out of Boston. He admitted that he has skipped town for Kentucky as quickly as possible in the past, but that this year something made him hang around.
Maybe it is his ongoing rehab from a torn ACL 18 months ago. Maybe it is his children still being in school in the Boston area. Maybe it is just wanting to get a better feel for the city he has called a second home for a decade. Maybe he knows a trade for Kevin Love is coming and he wants to be in town when it goes down.
Or maybe he understands that his days in Boston are numbered. He reiterated his stance, however, that he does not plan to leave of his own accord.
“I don’t like change, really,” Rondo said. “I’m pretty comfortable. I have a beautiful home here. I love it here. … I don’t want to leave. It’s just part of the process that I’ll talk about once the season is over.
“As of now, I’m a Celtic.”
UMass guard Chaz Williams, one of the players attending the workout, got a surprise when he arrived at the facility in the morning. Rondo, more than a month after the Celtics’ season ended, was already in the gym.
“Honestly, I was peeking while we were doing a couple drills, watching that man work,” Williams said. “I’ve got to say, he’s a freak of nature. A lot of people give me that name, but I’m giving it to him. He was in there putting in hard work. To be coming off an injury a couple months ago and doing things like that, it’s tough.
“And he’s still in there working. I got here around 10:30 and he’s still here now. That goes to show how hard he works and how much he loves being in the gym.”
That could explain why Rondo was so happy: He was in the gym, working out, doing what he loves — and if it is up to him, he says, he will continue doing it in Boston.