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Rajon Rondo vs. Jeremy Lin last season.As part of his tour through Asia while promoting Red Bull's King of the Rock tournament, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been offering entertaining interviews to the local media. One with the South China Morning Post today was a particularly entertaining read as Rondo addresses his NBA development, Boston's championship drought, and a childhood desire to be an NFL quarterback:
"I didn't watch a lot of NBA games growing up," he says. "I watched the Green Bay Packers. I always had dreams of being an NFL player. I was a high school quarterback and I really think that has helped me become a leader on the basketball court. They are pretty much the same position.
"The quarterback is the guy who calls all the plays and gets all the attention and the same with the point guard in basketball. You have to hit the open man."
Basketball became a natural progression during high school as his skills - and his reputation - developed.
"I played all three sports growing up - basketball, football and baseball - but I narrowed it down after my first year of high school and realised then I had a chance of making the NBA," says Rondo. "I was starting to dominate and I don't want it to sound like I've got a big head but the competition around me was easy. At Oak Hill Academy, Josh Smith went straight to the NBA out of high school so I knew then that if I worked on my game I could make the NBA myself."
Maybe not surprisingly, a common topic on his trek has been Jeremy Lin. Rondo isn't bashful with his opinions after Lin's breakout stretch last season.
"It's a different season," says Rondo. "He's going to be in all the scouting reports. I'm sure he's up for the challenge as well. He's played against the best so he knows.
"I hope he has success with the Rockets, except against the Celtics. We plan on beating the Rockets pretty bad this year and hopefully I have something to do with it. But he is going to compete and I wish him well."
You'll remember, of course, that Rondo produced one of his more memorable triple-doubles of the 2011-12 season as part of an 18-point, 20-assists, and 17-rebound effort in an overtime win over Lin and the Knicks in a national TV game in March.