The Globe's Shira Springer sat down recently for an in-depth interview with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. Topics include the reasons for Rondo's emergence as an elite floor leader in his third season, why he seems to play his best against the biggest names, and his own competitiveness.
"I was very competitive growing up. I hated to lose," said Rondo. "Always wanted to win at no matter what I did, whether it was Connect 4 or on the football field. Everything I played, every sport I played, I wanted to be number one. I never settled for two. I was a sore loser . . . I played everything growing up. Basketball, baseball, football, soccer, track, Connect 4, cards, tic-tac-toe. I didn't want to lose anything, and I think that's where my competitiveness comes from. I always wanted to be the best."
In the video above, he also expounds on his relationship with coach Doc Rivers:
"It's come a long way from my first year. It was rough, yeah. Especially with me getting drafted and thinking I'm going to play my first year because this is a young team . . . [but I] didn't play much, and we were losing, so I figured I could help the team.
"But that wasn't the case. It was kind of a "me" aspect instead of a "we" aspect. I think I've grown a little bit -- I think I've grown a lot -- as far as putting the team first. And I kind of understand Doc's point of view. He's trying to coach me, not to hurt me. He's always trying to help. I still struggle at times, I'm still young, but I'm just going to keep maturing."
For more, watch for Springer's story on Rondo in The Sunday Globe and on Boston.com.