Rajon Rondo, a member of the Chicago Bulls, posted a picture of himself alongside former Celtics teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He also included an interesting caption to go along with it, in which he calls out Chicago's veteran leadership, one day after Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler called out Chicago's youngsters:
My vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team. My vets didn't pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn't take days off. My vets didn't care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn't blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn't have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn't change the plan because it didn't work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can't win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don't deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it's the leadership.
Well, that sure is something. Rondo has always been a bit…let's call it ornery, so this is not so much surprising as it is direct.
Last night, after the Bulls blew a ten-point lead with three minutes left and lost to Atlanta, Butler and Wade went scorched earth on their younger teammates.
Asked if it was an issue of these youngsters lacking heart, Wade responded, "I don't know." He also didn't know if some Bulls cared enough to be angry or view the loss as "debilitating."
"I don't know if they care enough, so I can't say it is," Wade said. "I wish I could say that everyone in here is going to go home and not eat tonight. I can't say that. I wish I could, but I don't know that they care enough. Games are supposed to hurt. You're not supposed to sleep, you're not supposed to want to talk to anybody. These games are supposed to hurt. I don't know if that is in guys in this locker room. Hopefully they can prove me wrong."
Butler had substantially similar things to say. Apparently after taking the day to think about it, Rondo decided to respond to the two, on behalf of the younger guys, and went full "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" on Butler and Wade. Calling out teammates, especially veterans calling out younger players, is pretty common stuff, but it's less common to see a return serve like this.
Rondo's name has been thrown around in trade rumors of late and, again, this is basically who Rondo is and always has been, but still, it's hard to imagine another team wanting to sign up for a guy who clearly long ago ran out of fucks to give.