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Rondo raring to go

Celtics guard has kept busy

By Gary Washburn
Globe Staff / October 16, 2011

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While the NBA has been in a lockout, Rajon Rondo has accomplished a lot. He rehabilitated his dislocated left elbow to full strength. He spent the past few months touring the country in marketing opportunities. And he continued his education at the University of Kentucky.

Yesterday, the Celtics point guard made an appearance at a Boston bookstore to sign magazine covers featuring his photo.

Rondo will soon become the face of the Celtics franchise - the youngest All-Star on a roster full of seasoned veterans - and he is ready to get started on perhaps one final championship run with the current roster.

“I hope there’s a season,’’ he said. “I’m looking forward to it and everyone around the league is, even the fans.

“It’s just an extended vacation as far as trying to continue to train and get better. It’s more time for me to work on my game, and that’s how I try to face it in the next couple of weeks or months or whatever we have.

“Right now my focus is to play with the Celtics.’’

The Celtics are half a team right now. Whenever the lockout ends, they will begin camp with seven signed players and two rookies. Obviously, team president Danny Ainge will have to bolster the roster. After last May’s playoff drubbing at the hands of the Miami Heat, Rondo is eager to see a retooled roster.

“It will be different makeup, a lot of different guys,’’ said Rondo, who said he is not considering signing overseas. “So a lot of new faces around the city, but we’ll try to get them accustomed to how we do things here in Boston and go for a championship.’’

Rondo made highlight reels with an acrobatic alley-oop pass to Denver rookie Kenneth Faried in a Kentucky all-star game last week, after making his first organized basketball appearance last weekend at the South Florida All-Star Classic. In that one, he was promptly booed by the Heat faithful at Florida International University in Miami.

“I had a fun time at the game, a lot of guys playing together,’’ he said. “It’s good competition. That’s what you look for in this type of time of the year.

“The elbow is fine. I have been playing in a lot of games and it hasn’t given me any problems yet.’’

Rondo has worked out feverishly at the University of Kentucky, and though he is not in true basketball shape because of a lack of a training camp, he is prepared for more extensive workouts when the lockout concludes.

Many of Rondo’s teammates are still smarting from the elimination by Miami, a series marred by Rondo’s freakish dislocated left elbow in Game 3. Remarkably, Rondo returned to that game and played in the final two of the series.

“I don’t try to say woulda, coulda - they beat us, 4-1, as simple as that,’’ he said. “I think it was all adrenaline to come back in the game where I hurt my elbow. The next game it wore off and I had to sit down a little bit.’’

Despite the recovery and lockout, Rondo said he has enjoyed his respite.

“This has been the best summer of my life, really,’’ he said. “Lockout or not, I’m still going to enjoy my life and do what I do best.’’

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @gwashburn14

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