BOSTON -- After the trade deadline passed in late February, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo admitted that the rumors he swirled in bothered him this season.
But even before he could collect himself from the trade whispers, Rondo found himself under siege for his decision to skip a trip to Sacramento and celebrate his birthday in Los Angeles while knowing he was not scheduled to play on the second night of a back-to-back.
As all the noise finally died down recently, Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, one of Rondo's most staunch supporters, came out to publicly champion Rondo as the current and future leader of this franchise.
Rondo admitted after Friday's loss to the Phoenix Suns that the support resonated with him.
"It means a lot, especially coming from the head guy," said Rondo. "With all the rumors swirling, the criticism that I was having throughout the past couple weeks, he stuck his neck out. He didn't have to say anything, but he did. I've talked to Wyc since then. Everything is what it's supposed to be."
Earlier this week, Grousbeck raved about Rondo while reflecting on the 2013-14 season in an interview with the Boston Globe.
"[Rondo is] loved right here, from my seat on the court," said Grousbeck. "I love the guy. I love his championship ring when he was the young kid. I love his growth. It reminds me of Paul Pierce. Growing from the moments in his younger days and making progress toward being an all-time Celtic and a leader. I am always hopeful that a guy like that is going to stay around."