Rajon Rondo has started to appear a little more frequently in the news lately, as the Celtics prepare for the 2013-2014 season. The gifted Boston point guard is trying to comeback from a torn ACL, and was relatively evasive recently about his chances on coming back soon.
He did take time to say that he is apparently “best friends” with new Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who is replacing the only NBA coach that Rondo has ever had, Doc Rivers.
The degree to which Rondo is serious in saying things like that remains to be seen, since he probably won’t return until later this fall, at the earliest. However, it will be critical for the Celtics short-term success for Rondo and Stevens to gel. Coaches and point guards need to be on the same page in order for a team to do well, especially a team that has someone as capable as Rondo.
This isn’t a new concept in Celtics history, as many of their best periods of time have seen dynamic relationships between the floor leader, and the team’s actual leader. Here are a few:
Red Auerbach and Bob Cousy:
The original pairing of a great Celtic coach and point guard. They each seemed to know what they other was thinking, and Auerbach tolerated Cousy’s propensity for showmanship because he always got the job done. Cousy is also the last prominent figure to call Auerbach by his real name (Arnold), instead of Red.
Tommy Heinsohn and Jo Jo White
Seemingly an odd couple, they nonetheless figured it out, and Heinsohn and White went on to win two championships together. They were a partnership that was decidedly different from Auerbach and Cousy, yet survived an increasingly competitive league to thrive.
K.C. Jones and Dennis Johnson
Though they only won one championship together, it may have been the most dominant and impressive one in the team’s storied history. The 1986 Celtics will always stand as perhaps Boston’s greatest single season team (in any sport), and Jones utilized Johnson that season perfectly. “DJ”, as he was known, became a menace to opposing teams as Jones let him off of the leash to play strangling defense.
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