Q&A: Rajon Rondo

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Sunday, March 08, 2015 with No comments
Courtesy of Marc J. Spears

Q: What do you think about the perception that you want to depart from Dallas?
Rondo: "First of all, I'm misunderstood in general. I don't mind because I'm very quiet and I stay to myself. People are going to say what they want to say. I don't talk, so I don't know why they would say that. I don't think I play as if I don't want to be here. I give it all when I'm out there on the court.
"I'm always in communication trying to learn and get better and learn what's better for the team. All I care about is winning. I made a lot of sacrifices, I believe, coming here. I try to give up the ball and move without the ball a lot more. It's hard to adjust. But for the sake of the team to win that's what I'm trying to."
Q: So you are open-minded to re-signing with Dallas?
Rondo: "Why would I not be? There are a lot of things that I really love. Even the practices, we listen to music, my type of music. It's the little things. Say we are going to California, we will play Too $hort and West Coast music. If we are going to Houston we might play chop and screw, Bun B or something like that. If we are going to New Orleans we might play Lil Wayne at practice, during shooting 30 minutes before practice. It's a cool way they run it. We get our work in.
"It's a player's organization. Players first, from our plane, the way we travel. I don't take that for granted. We eat good. We stay at the best hotels. Of course, it's the NBA. But this organization has the best. They have PlayStation in the lockers. I don't play games, but it's nice to know I got a PlayStation. TVs in your own locker. I heard about it – [Brandon Bass] and J-Terry [Jason Terry] told me – but seeing it and experiencing it.
"I love it here. I don't dislike anything. I'm not uncomfortable. Of course, the system is different, but I've been here for two months. It's going to take time. Hopefully, sooner rather than later."
Q: Are you excited about being an unrestricted free agent for the first time next offseason?
Rondo: "Not really. I never had it, but I want to live for today. When it's going to come is when it's going to come. One thing that will help me is that when I tore my ACL that made me realize to live in the moment. Don't think about next month or think about two months from now. Life isn't guaranteed. Enjoy the situation you are in now. We're blessed and what is going to happen is going to happen."
Q: How do you reflect on your one-game suspension with the Mavericks after having the argument with Carlisle during a game?
Rondo: "The situation happened and everyone was like, 'Oh, he doesn't want to be here now.' I get into it with all my coaches. It goes back to [Oak Hill Academy coach] Steve Smith, [his former Kentucky coach] Tubby Smith. It's actually funny. The day me and Rick had an altercation, Tubby came in our locker room and kind of surprised me. Me and Tubby used to get into it and he says I'm his favorite player he ever coached.
"[Louisville Eastern High coach Doug] Bibby and I used to get into it all the time. He benched me like 20 times. He's my mentor and now we talk every day. I still call [his former Boston Celtics coach] Doc [Rivers] for advice every once in a while. It's part of it. Its just life. It's like a marriage. You are not always going to like your wife, you are going to have your arguments, but you are not going to throw in the towel.
"I'm on [television] like I committed a crime. Two men had a disagreement. Obviously, we didn't handle it the right way. Obviously, regardless of how it goes down it's always going to be the player's fault, and I took responsibility. But it's a two-way street and we're moving on from that."
Q: What type of relationship do you have with Carlisle now?
Rondo: "I have probably talked to Rick more than I talked to any coach in my career whether it's watching film, trying to get me up to speed, what he expects out of me, what he would like to see me do more, what he wants me to get away from. It's pretty much an ongoing thing. Doc communicated. [Celtics coach] Brad Stevens and I communicated. I guess because of the transition Rick has been pretty hands on working with my shot and watching film. He is texting me all the time. Before meetings, we always watch film and talk about game schemes, the little things we like to do and work on today. It's fine."
Q: How is the Mavericks' morale now?
Rondo: "Our morale is down a little bit, and obviously guys want to win. I think we have the pieces. We're in a tough stretch right now. We have one of the toughest schedules, especially at our age playing back-to-backs.
"I'm very positive and very optimistic. I am going to continue to grow. I'm going to watch film. I'm going to hold guys up and bring them in to watch film as well. That's one thing I've been trying to preach to the team, 'We have to watch.' Everyone might have a rebuttal verbally after the game, but when you watch film it doesn't lie.
"Doc was a big believer in film. Bibby got me started in [watching] film when I was in high school. That is one of the little things I'm trying to bring to this team."
Q: How tough is it to adjust to a new team after a trade?
Rondo: "It's tough. People think you're supposed to go right in and fit in. You're coming to a completely different system. You got 14 guys adjusting to you. Me as a player and a person, I have to adjust to the 14 guys and make it easier. It hasn't been bad in transition. A lot of support."
Q: What are your teammates like in Dallas?
"Dirk [Nowitzki] is funny as hell. Monta [Ellis] is like my brother. We're close. In the morning we go to practice as a team. It's a great group of guys. There are not too many knuckleheads like me."
Q: How do you think they feel about you?
Rondo: "Honestly, when guys are playing with me and are in the locker room, I don't think you would find too many guys who would have something negative to say about me. I'm always for the team. I always try to do the little things that come natural. I don't try to fit in or anything."
Q: Have you spent much time getting to know Mavericks owner Mark Cuban?
Rondo: "Mark was the first person who picked me up. I believe he is a man of his word. He just wants to win. He's a competitor. You can probably tell that by the way he lives his life. He wants to win and be the best. I think we have that same goal to give it all we have with everything we do."