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."
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.
Pete, Bradford, and Tomase are talking all about the Boston Red Sox, who opened spring training on Monday with pitchers and catchers reporting. They talk about what the Red Sox approach at the plate will be to replace the loss of David Ortiz bat, the impact of some players participating in the WBC, and of course the pitching rotation.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.
Hour 3. Kirk and Gerry react to their interview with Sale.
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale joins the show.
Lou didn't want to talk about it on the air, but Mut pried it out of him: Lou is pissed at Trenni for the way she handled the much-anticipated John Farrell interview.
Lou left the show for a spell to record an interview with John Farrell. When he returned, he let Mut, Christian and the listeners know that it was not a loving affair.
Celtics fans have been waiting for fireworks from Danny Ainge since his comments in April of 2014. As the trade deadline nears, Mut and Christian wonder how pissed off Celtics fans will be if nothing happens on Causeway.
Dale Arnold, Michael Holley and Rich Keefe continue to discuss what the Celtics need to add in the off-season, but tucked in the middle is yet another Holley vs Keefe blowout regarding DeMarcus Cousins and his trade.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the Bruins and their great run under new coach Bruce Cassidy, but that the good play doesn't mean they shouldn't add something to the team at the deadline.
Dale, Michael and Rich discuss the Jets/Revis tampering case as new details continue to become available.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Michael Holley for the first time on the podcast. Kirk and Michael have hosted shows together in the past but have never had a candid conversation about WEEI. Kirk and Michael talk about Holley's career in radio, his best selling books, and what his assessment of the current WEEI is. There are a lot of interesting behind the scene nuggets for anybody who has listened to WEEI over the years. This episode is brought to you by hellofresh.com. For Enough About Me listeners go to hellofresh.com and use the promo code kirk35 for $35 off your first week of deliveries.
Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey talk best and worst movie/TV presidents. Plus the always important "This Week in #DORK" and the Pick of the Podcast.
Ken Laird is in Boston, Chris Curtis in Ft. Myers and the guys find a way to produce a Tuesday post-show recap of K&C on location at Red Sox camp
The reigning American Cy Young Award winner (Rick Porcello) and Red Sox set-up man (Joe Kelly) share a meal, some drinks, stories and conversation with Rob Bradford at Twin Peaks Restaurant in Fort Myers.
Hour 1. Kirk and Gerry discuss the trade rumors surrounding the Celtics. Northampton ends High Five Fridays.More from this show
Hour 3. Gerry went for a jog and dipped his clothes in the pool. Trenni didn't want to report on Swihart's throwing problems.More from this show
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.More from this show
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.More from this show
Hour 4. Gerry went for a walk and discovered a nude beach.More from this show