Celtics head coach Doc Rivers didn’t hesitate to clarify which player the Boston Celtics run through these days. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, Rivers opened up about Ray Allen and the reasons for his departure to the Miami Heat. He elaborated on the fact that he is mostly to blame for the loss of their once trusted sharp shooter, explaining that any conflict between him and Rajon Rondo was a product of the game plan he laid out for the team.
“People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo,” Rivers told Yahoo! at the London Olympics. “I’m the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I’m the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn’t mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time.”
Backed by Rivers and Kevin Garnett, Rondo officially took control of the C’s last season, averaging 11.9 points and a league-high 11.7 assists per game. Despite several trade rumors surrounding the 3x All Star PG, KG made his opinions clear following a January loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
“Rajon’s amazing, period,” said Garnett. “We talk about big things are coming – big things are here. Rajon’s keeping us alive every night. We just have to make sure we follow his lead and follow his effort, and we’re going to turn this thing around.”
The Celtics have done a lot in the off-season to improve, signing proven veteran Jason Terry to fill the void left by Allen. They have also re-signed Garnett, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox while drafting Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo to solidify their front court. Boston’s regular season will begin Tuesday, October 30th at Miami, where they will see a familiar face alongside the new defending champions of the NBA. Win or lose, the Celtics will enter the season with a concrete identity behind the unquestioned leadership of Rajon Rondo.