Danny Ainge earlier this week addressed Rajon Rondo's growth into the Boston Celtics' leader, acknowledging his strides and room for improvement.
“Rondo has incrementally grown from the time he’s been here in his leadership,” Ainge said. “I still think he has a ways to go to becoming the leader that we want him to be or that I think he will be when he’s in his 30s. But he’s taking that seriously and he’s trying to grow as a leader.”
Ainge added he does not like to name any player -- including Rondo -- as "the face of the franchise."
“Because that puts a lot of pressure on one person to be something they might not be,” Ainge said. “Rondo has always been a face of the franchise. I think he’s probably the most popular Celtic since Larry Bird . . . maybe [Kevin Garnett] for a short period, but I think Rondo sort of won over that in the last few years as being the best player on our team.
“But I look at every player as a leader. They’re either leading a guy to be a more positive player, [have] a more positive work ethic, or they’re leading in a negative way. Rondo has been one of our leaders. He has been one of our captains, whether he had the C on his jersey or not. Like Paul [Pierce] did, he has been the coach on the floor for us for the last four or five years as we were trying to win championships.
“I think there’s so much put on him. Right now, there’s no Paul, KG, and Ray Allen, so it’s putting more on him because we don’t have the players with the same magnitude and the same perception in the media.”