Saturday, February 22, 2014

After trade rumors, Rondo celebrates 28

The Boston Celtics are continuing the rest of this season with thier all-star point guard Rajon Rondo. Danny Ainge made no moves at the trading deadline Thursday afternoon, and Rondo is here to stay for the near future.

Rondo on the other hand, turns 28 today, and has more to celebrate than the simple fact he is still a Celtic. He's recovering from major ACL surgery, and he's the Celtics captain in a rebuilding season, meaning he should be sticking around in the forseeable future. But as usual the media was not convinced that Rondo was not going to be dealt. That can't be easy, doesn't matter how much he tries to ignore the rumors.

"It gets annoying at times," he said. "It's been like that the last eight years, though. It's what I do for the time being. [I'm 28] I have a long life to live. I have a lot of things going on outside of basketball for me right now and it's part of what happens when you're an NBA player."

At the beginning of the week Ainge made it clear Rondo was not going anywhere, even going as far as saying he was never close to making a blockbuster move before the 3:00 PM deadline two days ago. Rajon spent Thursday in a business meeting at the team hotel, then joined his teammates for a film session right before mid-day when no deal was announced.

When asked if it was nice to play out the rest of the season without worrying about trade rumors, Rondo seemed like someone who doesn't like change.

"I don't know", he said. "Everybody is different. I'm under contract with the Celtics and that's who I play for. I like it here, I got a home back in Boston. I've been comfortable here for eight years now."

Still even with the 'guarantee' from his GM that he would not be traded, this was the one season where he has felt the most annoyed with the rumors. It comes with the territory when you are a big name in this league. Wait until June when the chatter about his future picks up again.

By this summer he will be entering the final year of his current contract with the Celtics. With that comes the necessary criteria for a no-trade clause (eight years in the league, four with one team), but under the new CBA, Boston would have to let his contract run out and not give him an extention before then.

Rondo has already let be known he would like to test free agency, in which the Celtics risk losing him for no return on the open market. Either way, the captain wants to remain in green.

"My mindset hasn't changed from when I came back from playing and it hasn't changed now," Rondo said. "It didn't change in the Phoenix game because I was in a lot of trade talk. I still had one focus -- to play as hard as I can for this team and to help my teammates try to win games."

Just give him his money already! At least he can enjoy one day off without the weight of social media, and the press on his shoulders.

On behalf of all of us here on Causeway Street, Happy Birthday Rajon! And many, many more, hopefully in a Celtics uniform.

Joel Pavón

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