CRAWFORD | Stevens meets with Rondo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Stevens meets with Rondo, says he 'cant wait' to work with him

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Brad Stevens, new basketball coach of the Boston Celtics, is tying up loose ends. He went down to the NBA Summer League in Orlando to meet with some of his players, then flew back to Indianapolis and went to work on the one who matters most.

The new coach drove to Louisville Thursday to meet the old Celtics' point guard Rajon Rondo, a session he said was very positive.

"It was great," Stevens told WDRB while being swarmed by campers at Camp Rondo in Louisville. "What an insightful, intelligent, neat person to sit down with."

Rondo was with campers and didn't talk after today's session. But Stevens said if he has any say, talk of trade with Rondo will end.

"Zero discussion," Stevens told WDRB Sports when asked about Rondo and trade talk. "He has been a great player and is a big part of the Celtics moving forward."

Stevens is going to need time. That's a given. The immediate assumption after his hiring has been that he will fail. You see very few people saying he'll flat-out succeed. But think about not only Stevens' college demeanor, but his college methods. He hasn't succeeded at the college level because of a bunch of histrionics, he has succeeded because he has brought an analytic, mathematical approach to the game that got more out of his players than was expected of them.

Rondo, however, will be a key relationship for Stevens. If he can win over his point guard, it'll go a long way to establishing the right feel for the team. If he can sell Rondo on leadership, that's one headache avoided.

That's why he came to Louisville, and not the other way around.

"I knew he was having camp the next two weeks . . . and I love camp, so I decided to come down," Stevens said. ". . . He is obviously one of the best point guards in the league and has been one of the best the past 7 or 8 years. He's had a terrific young career and I can't wait to get working with him."

Stevens twice used the word "whirlwind" to describe his early days with the Celtics, since he shocked the basketball world by making the jump from Butler.

He said there was no grand design. 

"I don't know that I ever really had a goal," Stevens said. "I just have enjoyed the idea of spending as much time at basketball as possible. It (coaching in the NBA) is a very challenging job, no doubt about that. But coaching college is a very challenging job, too. At the end of the day, getting paid to teach and coach and be around great coaches and players all day is a pretty good thing."

Stevens said he's looking forward to the discussion turning soon to Xs and Os instead of speculation over how he'll fare in Boston. He's a basketball wonk, and looks forward to starting to try to fashion something good out of the new-look Celtics.

"My favorite part of the job is getting to know people and meet people," Stevens said. "Days like today when you get to sit down with somebody you're going to work closely with and talk about, you know, what inspires them and what makes them really so passionate about the game, there's nothing better than that."

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