WALTHAM – Guard Rajon Rondo discussed at length his relationship with new Celtics coach Brad Stevens during the team’s media day Monday afternoon. Rondo said he was impressed when Stevens showed up at Rondo’s basketball camp in Kentucky earlier this summer. The two have had lunch, text nightly, and regularly share books and YouTube videos over email.
“Me and Brad have become best friends,” said Rondo. “We talk every day, we laugh and joke. We just had dinner the other night. I’m going to help him, he’s going to help me.
“He has my full support. I told him from Day 1 when he came to my camp that I’m behind him 100 percent. Whatever he wants to do, whatever he wants to change, I have an open mind. I’m ready to listen and to be accountable for what he wants to do.”
Rondo dodged questions about his recovery from ACL surgery Monday, telling reporters only that he planned to return sometime in the 2013-2014 season. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said last week he expected Rondo to be out until at least December.
Asked about the departures of Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, Rondo was unemotional.
“It wasn’t difficult at all,” said Rondo. “I didn’t feel anything. I actually landed in LA the night of the draft. I had 45 text messages come through the phone. I thought I was traded.
“It’s not the first teammates that I’ve been close to who were traded away — Perk, Tony Allen. It’s part of the process. This is a fresh start for us, a new coach and a new team. I’m excited about the fresh start.”
Rondo did not dismiss the possibility that he would be traded someday. Ainge said Monday that the Celtics roster was still a work in progress.
“Those are things that are out of my control,” said Rondo. “I don’t tend to worry about those things.I have to live my life. Whatever the case may be, whenever that may happen, that’s what will happen. But until then, I’m a Celtic, and I’ll play as hard as I can for this organization.”
Rondo has been riding the stationary bike (he called the bike, along with Stevens, his “best friend”). Rondo has been working on his free throw shooting and ball handling, but said he has not yet been able to resume full contact basketball or scrimmages.