Rajon Rondo Could Be NBA Coach After Playing Career

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 10, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Danny Ainge, president of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, left, stands on court with Rajon Rondo #9 before Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Celtics and New York Knicks during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2013 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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When you think about NBA players who should become coaches after their playing careers are over, a few names just immediately spring to mind: Chauncey Billups, Andre Miller, Derek Fisher, Shane Battier, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, etc. 

Rajon Rondo doesn't typically work his way into that group of players, but we may have to start wrapping our head around the fact that he could end up holding a clipboard on the sideline at some point.

It's just that Doc Rivers influence. 

In an interview with CSNNE.com's A. Sherrod Blakely, Rondo revealed that the new coach of the Los Angeles Clippers has had quite the lasting influence on him: 

I took a lot away from Doc. I still catch myself laughing at some of the things he's told certain guys, and now me being the core leader of this team, I mimic some of the things Doc has said to guys. I've leaned a lot from Doc. I tried to study his ways as far as a coach because it's something that I may want to do in the future. I have a lot of respect for Doc.

It's a strange about-face for a player who has typically been known as a tough one to handle.

Kevin Garnett kept him honest in the Boston Celtics locker room over the last few seasons, and there have been more than a few questions about how he's going to interact with Brad Stevens during the former Butler leader's first season on the sidelines of the TD Garden. 

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 29: Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics congratulates teammate Brandon Bass #30 during a timeout against the Atlanta Hawks during the game on March 29, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
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Rondo just does things his own way, and that's generally led to the perception that he and coaches don't really get along. However, NBC Sports' Kurt Helin reports that the talented point guard has been turning that around over the offseason: 

Right how he’s trying. Sidelined while recovering from ACL surgery (there is no timetable for his return) he’s trying to help out a little with advice and coaching of his teammates—he’s been in rookie Phil Pressey’s ear for one, but there are others. Rondo is the veteran, experienced leader of these Boston Celtics, and he wants to fit into that role even while he can’t lace them up.

Although Kidd set an interesting precedent by going from an active roster to a coaching staff in just about three minutes, C's fans have no need to worry about losing Rondo right now.

The floor general is only 27 years old, and he has a lot of time left as a player before becoming a coach turns into anything more than a down-the-road hypothetical. Given his playing style, it's not entirely inconceivable that he could have a decade left in the tank before he pulls the plug on his career as a point guard. 

But as Helin wrote, there's no timetable for his return from that torn ACL, and the C's need him back in action as soon as possible. For now, let's just hope that he gets to do more playing that coaching this season.