In 2007, Minnesota and Boston were getting ready to complete a blockbuster deal. Both teams were headed towards finalizing a 7 player deal. One of the names in this potential deal was Celtics PG Rajon Rondo.
Rondo was in his rookie season with the Celtics and it seemed like the Celtics were headed towards cleaning house. The Celtics were 24-58 and it looked like General Manager Danny Ainge was looking towards making a big move. Rondo was the third string PG and the Celtics had just lost their 18th straight game, and that was very rare for the Celtics, whose franchise was used to having success.
It seemed like Danny was ready to strike a deal with Minnesota and it seemed like Rondo was going to be in that deal. In a recent interview about that potential deal involving Rondo, he was quoted saying:
“I was in the deal to Minnesota in 2007... I saw my name on the ticker on the screen and said, ‘S—, it’s over.’ ... I come to find out, [KG] told the Celtics that he wanted me there ... [H]e said, ‘I want the African guy to stay’ or something. Because of my name, he thought I was African.”
Rondo and the Celtics seemed ready to move on from each other until a very familiar name spoke up for Rondo.
Kevin Garnett stepped in and said that he wanted Rondo to stay on the Celtics. There was no known reason as to why Garnett wanted Rondo, but it seemed like that was a very smart move by the Celtics.
That move to keep Rondo helped deliver a ton of success for the Celtics in the near future. In that interview Rondo was also quoted saying:
“I come to find out, he told the Celtics that he wanted me there. I’m sure [Celtics president] Danny Ainge loved me, but I think KG had a lot to do with me staying as a Celtic.”
In doing this, Kevin Garnett helped keep Rajon Rondo, who would become a big factor alongside Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and KG. This big four would go on to lead the Celtics to 5 straight playoff appearances which would include two finals appearances. The Celtics would become the NBA champions during the 2007-08 season and many could say that Kevin Garnett helped saved Rondo’s career and build a dynasty in Boston.