Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, in an interview on WEEI's Mut & Merloni Show on Thursday, suggested that he feels increasingly comfortable with a growing leadership role. The 26-year-old said that, at the start of last year, teammates Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen made clear that it was Rondo's time to be a leader of the Celtics.
"I was 20, 21 when I first got here. I'm 26 now, my seventh year in the league. Actually, last year, the Big Three and I had a meeting at the start of the season in Doc's offense. They told me they gave me the keys last year. I just want to continue to grow as a player and as a leader on this team, being more consistent everyday on and off the court," said Rondo. "I think each year my role has gotten bigger since we won the championship. A lot of people are saying this year, it's my team this year, I'm the leader this year. But obviously, the past couple years I think I've been a leader. Trying to let my leadership expand each year. This year, I guess it's at an all-time high, but I just want to go out and play hard for my teammates each and every day."
As a leader, Rondo made clear that his loyalties are solely to his teammates. Asked if he "hates" opponents such as the Heat or Lakers (a claim made by new teammate Jason Terry), Rondo suggested that he's not looking to make friends with players from other teams.
"Hate’s a strong word, but I agree with my teammate," said Rondo. "We don’t like anyone. It’s our job to go out there and win. We’re not trying to be friends with anybody. I think KG shows it best. He plays with a lot of intensity. He has no friends out there on the court, and that’s our mentality. That should be everyone’s mentality. We're competing. There’s no friends on the court.
"I use the phrase, even if you were playing against a family member, your mother, you still go out there and try to beat her," he continued. "It’s just a matter of just competing. We love to win, I’m very competitive. Anything I do, I want to win. So I don’t have time for friends. I don't talk to a lot of guys in the offseason, so why I should talk to them on the court and try to be their friend? I'm friends with my teammates. I know I’m a great teammate. Other than that, if you’re not my teammate, I could care less."
Rondo also discussed the evolution of his game this year, chiefly, an increased willingness to take jump shots. In the early-going, Rondo is 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) on jumpers.
"I'm just taking it more this year. I'm not passing it as much, as far as passing up my shots. I have my mind set up to take the jumpshot. I'm thinking about myself, shooting the ball, instead of always thinking to pass the ball to one of my teammates," said Rondo. I've been doing it in practice. It starts in practice. That's what I've been trying to do consistently, taking the open shot in practice.
"I've been shooting six, seven, eight jump shots a game," he continued. "Obviously, I've been hitting a lot more this year and I've been taking a lot more. I think it's a part of repetition. I don't think you can get in a rhythm when you shoot one or two jump shots, so I've been trying to make a conscious effort of, when they go under, to shoot the elbow jump shot, regardless of whether I miss or make."
Butch Stearns joins Glenn and Fred to react to the Patriots victory over the Rams. They discuss Tom Brady's record setting 201st quarterback victory and debate if he is truly the greatest player of all time.
Glenn and Fred open the show reacting to the Patriots beat down of the Los Angeles Rams. They discuss the defense and debate whether todays game is a sign of things to come.
Pete and Price get to more analysis and breakdowns as they discuss how both of these teams will approach one another. They talk about things to keep an eye on and interesting stats before getting Price's prediction.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about what the Celtics will need to do in order to be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference along with the Cavs.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia talks with Josue Pavon about how the Celtics are looking better with Al Horford back on the court and the overall toughness of this team.
Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen preview the Celtics season. Will Jaylen Brown be an impact rookie and prove he was the right pick at #3? Will the Celtics win the Atlantic Division? Is the season a failure if the Celtics don't advance past the first round of the playoffs?
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase talk with Curt Schilling to get his reaction to Dan Shaughnessy and Jon Heyman's comments about not voting for Curt for the Hall of Fame again based on some of Schilling's comments on social media.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are taking some calls and reaction to their interview with Curt Schilling in regards to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame voting. We also hear about Rob's upcoming working vacation to the Dominican Republic for the David Ortiz Charity Golf Classic.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking about Dan Shaughnessy's column about how he would no longer vote for Curt Schilling for the Hall of Fame. They then talk with Curt Schilling getting his thoughts on the whole situation and whether he would rather make the HoF or the Senate.
Hour two of Saturday Skate after a Bruins 2-1 over Buffalo, with Ken Laird and Rear Admiral debating the status of Krejci, Chara, Krug and Bergeron.
The first hour of Saturday Skate starts up against the third period of Bruins - Sabres, so Ken Laird and Rear Admiral give some Red Sox hot stove and Rob Gronkowski thoughts before moving into Bruins - Sabres game reaction
Ken Laird and Ty Anderson chat Bruins after a 2-1 win in Florida improved the team's record to 5-4.
Gerry, Kirk and Pete discussed the Rams idiotic decision to give Jeff Fisher an extension.
Gerry, Kirk and Pete opened the 8 am hour discussing a brutal day for Jeff Fisher. The guys also reacted to Gus Johnson's over the top final call of the Big Ten championship.
Gerry Kirk and Pete opened the 7 am hour talking about Roger Goodell not being in attendance yesterday.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are less than surprised that Bill Belichick won't comment further about Gronk than the released statement. Speaking of statements, how weird is it that the Gronkowski family is releasing joint statements with the Patriots?
Orthopedic surgeon to the pros, Dr. Thomas Gill of Steward Health Care joins Glenn, Lou, and Christian in the wake of Gronk's back injury. He talks about different types of disc injuries, and one type of fusion which could potentially prevent Gronk from playing football. He also commented on the unique situation of a joint statement between the Patriots and the Gronkowskis, and clarified his role in Gronk's arm surgeries.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian wonder how the man who shot former NFL RB Joe McKnight can be free of charges and walking around the streets of New Orleans.
Dale and Michael check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin on a Friday.
We open it up in the final portions of hours 3 and 4 on a Friday.
Hour two in it's entirety.
Kirk Minihane, WEEI Podcast King, talks to the Podcast Godfather Adam Carolla about his new documentary about Le Mans, the backlash from the Election, and his time with Donald Trump on the Apprentice. The audio quality isn't great but the conversation is.
Kirk Minihane is a non-believer, Larry Johnson is a preacher, when Larry found Kirk doesn't believe in God he challenged Kirk to allow him on to the podcast to talk about religion and faith. Kirk and Larry have a tremendous conversation about God and Larry tries to convert Kirk into a believer.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Barstool Sports contributor and podcast host John Feitelberg. Kirk and Feitelberg talk about the rise of barstool, the sale of the website, what it is like to work for Dave Portnoy, and their live podcast shows at the Wilbur Theater.
Gerry Callahan pulled an audible at the line of scrimmage and bumped the scheduled Mike Mutnansky from Monday's show, in favor of sporty Pete Sheppard. Ken Laird and Chris Curtis explain how it went down and how the show went w/ the Meat Man in.
Ben, Alex, and Russ talk about how Toronto winning the MLS cup will be best for the league, the FIFA Player of the Year award, and the tragedy in Brazil.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis finish out the week recapping the Friday edition of Kirk and Callahan, with critiques of Dale & Holley's Keefe announcement and more.
In the 9 am hour Gerry and Kirk mocked the Belichick press conference and took a call from Jim the Wrestling Goon who is not a fan of Amani Toomer.More from this show
In the 7 am hour Gerry and Kirk discussed the hiring of Rich Keefe and the announcement yesterday on Dale and Holley.More from this show
In the 8 am hour Gerry and Kirk talked about a brutal answer by Dan Shaughnessy regarding Bill Conlin'sn spot in the Hall of Fame.More from this show