Rivers praises Rondo's attitude during up-and-down season

The Boston Celtics championship team of 2008 was well-represented Saturday at the United Center.

Bulls guard Rajon Rondo, Clippers reserve Paul Pierce and Clippers coach Doc Rivers were all present. Former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau was probably there in spirit.

Rivers had plenty of nice things to say about Rondo when asked about his up-and-down season with the Bulls. Rondo was benched in late December and now plays with the second unit.

"I've been really proud of Rondo," Rivers said before Saturday's game. "I was really proud of how he handled the benching, or not playing. I thought he needed to immerse himself back with his teammates. At first, he kind of pulled away, then he came back. I was happy that he did that."

Rivers didn't feel he gave Rondo any advice about the situation. Rivers said he and Rondo talk often and have a good relationship.

"I thought he could have handled that differently, in a bad way, and he didn't," Rivers said. "I thought early on he didn't handle it great, then he came back and did a great job."

Craw-sova's not over:

Saturday marked another return for Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, whom the Bulls acquired on draft night 2000.

Crawford, who will turn 37 on Mar. 20, has scored nearly 6,000 more points over his career than anybody else in that draft class. Michael Redd ranks second and Hedo Turkoglu third, according to

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was asked about Crawford's longevity.

"He plays basketball, every day," Rivers said. "I don't see him in the weight room. I don't see him do anything in the summer but play basketball. He literally plays pickup basketball the entire summer, every day. That's all he does.

"He's like the anti-new generation, weights and all the other stuff. He just plays basketball. There's times when someone's posting him up I wish he was in the weight room. He keeps his skills so sharp by playing, and then he loves the game."

Random chatter:

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg on if Rajon Rondo could return to the starting lineup: "We talked about that. We feel comfortable where things are right now with that first group, with Rajon coming off with the second group, giving us a spark."

Doc Rivers on whether he could see Rondo coaching someday: "He'd be tougher than me, I can tell you that. He's really smart. I think he can do better things than (coach), personally."

Rivers on coaching at Proviso East, his alma mater, someday: "That wouldn't be bad, actually. Got the wheels turning right now."

Bulls' scoring can't keep up with bad defense in loss to Denver

As offense improves, Bulls' defense sinks quickly

Stingy defense gives Bulls impressive win over Warriors

Kerr says Durant diagnosis was a relief

Hard to figure, but Bulls still great against the best

Portis, Zipser off to a good starts as Bulls try to evaluate young players

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.