The Boston Celtics added a few new faces to their backcourt this offseason, and Rajon Rondo, for one, is looking forward to seeing them play.
Rondo, who is China this week promoting Anta, a footwear company he endorses, talked about two of those newcomers — rookies Marcus Smart and James Young — during an interview with Hoop China.
“Very, very young. They make me feel old,” the point guard said. “I’m very excited to play with them. They have a lot of energy. James Young is a great shooter, and what Marcus Smart is known for is his defense, so we’re going to need that energy from the young guys. I look forward to playing with those guys.”
Smart, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, enters his first pro season with particularly high expectations, especially after impressing both Celtics staff and Team USA coaches in summer workouts. The Oklahoma State product will begin his career on the bench, though, playing behind Rondo and the recently re-signed Avery Bradley.
“(Smart) will play a lot of minutes, but starting at a rookie age at the guard position is probably impossible, or one of the toughest things to do,” Rondo said. “Only a certain number of guards have done it in the past, especially playing at that high level. But he’ll be ready. He’ll come in ready. He seems pretty humble, and we’ll get to work.”
Smart acknowledged this fact even before the Celtics drafted him, saying it would be “an honor” to have the chance to learn from a guard of Rondo’s caliber.
For more highlights from Rondo’s interview, including which sport he’d be playing if he wasn’t in the NBA, check out the video below.