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Dallas Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo is excited about returning to face the Boston Celtics but he concedes that it will be an emotional night.
Rondo was traded to Dallas two weeks ago after he had spent the first eight-plus seasons of his NBA career in Boston.
The Mavs face the Celtics at the TD Garden on Friday night, and Rondo is looking forward to the reception that he will receive but he admits that it will likely be an emotional time for him as he will try to hold back the tears.
“Hopefully I won’t be too emotional, try not to cry a little bit, but I’m very excited to go back,” Rondo said. “Those fans are amazing there. If I do [tear up], hopefully the camera isn’t on me too much. I’m going to try to blink a lot.”
Rondo experienced various highs and lows during his time with the Celtics, as he went from a 20-year-old rookie who lost 18 consecutive games at one point, to winning an NBA championship as the starting point guard the next season as the franchise acquired both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.
The Celtics continued to compete for the next five years but after Rondo tore his ACL in January 2013, they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs and the franchise entered a rebuilding stage which saw both Garnett and Paul Pierce traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
Coach Doc Rivers also left to join the Los Angeles Clippers which left Rondo as the only remaining member of the 2008 title team before he was dealt to Dallas as the Celtics continued to acquire future Draft picks.
“That’s where I started. That’s where I got moulded,” Rondo said. “That’s where everything happened for me. The best years are still ahead of me, but I was an All-Star four times, won a championship in Boston. I can’t thank the fans enough.
“Even when we were losing 18 in a row the first year, the fans still showed a lot of support. They came to every game. When I was out on the streets, they didn’t kill me or heckle me. It was always supportive. They’re true fans. They’re not fair-weather fans, when you’re losing, they’re gone. They ride it out and be a Celtic for life.”