Rajon Rondo has not always had a warm and fuzzy relationship with the Chicago Bulls during his time as the point guard for the Boston Celtics. The All-Star has made a reputation for himself as player Bulls fans love to hate, especially during the legendary battle with Chicago during the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Derrick Rose’s rookie year.
But times change, and so do people. Rondo, who like Rose is coming off an ACL tear, played TV analyst during Monday’s game between the Celtics and the Bulls and was quite complimentary of his rival. The point guard shared nice words about Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and his former coach, Tom Thibodeau.
"Thibs was a workaholic," Rondo said. "You never could beat him to the gym. He lived in the gym. Guy lived in the gym. I would try to get there sometimes at 6 in the morning, Thibs would be there. He's definitely putting the work in, and it's paying off here in Chicago."
Rondo said of Joakim Noah, “He pretty much fills up a stat sheet, reminds me a little of myself. He plays hard on both ends of the floor, but what I like about Joakim most: He competes every play.”
The point guard also revealed the two players now have a healthy respect of one another.
"About two years ago we came to an understanding because we were always going at it with each other. But we never really understood why,” Rondo said of Noah. “I think it's because we both love to compete. He's a guy that's going to bring it every night, and I do the same, but we don't even play the same position. So one game, we were at the free-throw line and just thought about, 'Why do we even go at each other?'"
Rondo also paid respect to Kirk Hinrich by saying he is one of the most physical guards in the NBA. Bulls fans will recall the Celtics point guard throwing Hinrich into the scorer’s table during the playoffs and a near riot ensuing on the court.