Rajon Rondo spent this season trying to regain his All-Star form after the Celtics point guard was sidelined for nearly a year following knee surgery.
He played for a new coach, alongside many new teammates, but Rondo did show shades of his old self after returning to action in January.
In 30 games this season, Rondo averaged 11.7 points and 9.8 assists over 33.3 minutes during a rebuilding campaign in which the Celtics lost 57 games.
The team captain recently sat down with the Globe to discuss a variety of subjects, including this season, the upcoming offseason, and more.
Q.How do you judge yourself this season? Do you judge differently because you weren’t 100 percent?
A. I just want to get back to my old self as far as the way I play the game, the way I run the court. A lot of things are off obviously this year because of lack of practice, no training camp, coming straight in and just playing. I think I was able to adjust pretty well and run with guys that have been running for six or seven months before me. And being out a year is definitely a big change. But I think I did pretty well.
Q. What did you learn about yourself in your first year as team captain?
A. Patience. Have better patience.
Q.With teammates? With yourself?
A. Everything. Guys, myself, the game. Especially the younger guys. Everybody is not going to understand the game like I do, because I’ve been in it for eight years. Just being patient and slowly trying to help the guys move further along in the game and knowing what to look for and knowing how to break down film and being a professional.
Q.Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck recently said there could be “fireworks” this offseason with regards to potential moves. How do you view that comment?
A. I’ve been through a lot of fireworks. I know this organization definitely wants to win. They’ve done it before. I’ve been in the same situation before where we lost 50-plus games and the following year, everything had changed. I don’t underestimate Wyc or Danny [Ainge] and what they have planned.
Q. There are guys like Kobe Bryant who say they want to be consulted on moves, free agent acquisitions, stuff like that. Do you want that?
A. Yeah, I guess. I want to know what’s going on, but Danny communicates with me, talks to me about guys he might possibly bring in during the trade deadline. Obviously, nothing happened [at this season’s deadline], but communication lines were open. They’ve been honest.
Q.You guys have two first-round draft picks this year. Do you care whom the team selects? Do you have any recommendations?
A. I don’t really know college basketball, [but] I haven’t seen any college players that will come in and change the game completely. The only thing I’ve been watching is probably the [NCAA] Tournament . . . Obviously, I’ve been watching a lot of Kentucky.
Q.Around the trade deadline in late February, you referred to the numerous trade rumors that you were involved in as “annoying.” Do you worry that they could pick up again this offseason?
A. No. The offseason is completely different. You’re not at work. You’re working out but you’re not at work. I’m going to enjoy my summers. When I’m at home, I’m at home. Whatever happens, happens. It’s out of my control.
The only thing that’s different is that you’re still playing at the trade deadline during the season. You still have to come to work, you still have to be a professional and show up.
In the summertime, it’s only a matter of just you getting traded where you don’t have to perform. You may be emotionally on a roller coaster by being traded, but you still have 2-3 months to get adjusted, get acclimated.
“You don’t have to change [like you would] during the season. You can come in and get a fresh start in training camp. So it’s different. A trade is a trade, but it’s different as far as summertime versus in the season.
Q.You’re heading into the final year of your contract with the Celtics. What’s the ideal situation for you? What could the Celtics do to entice you to stay?
A. I don’t know. I don’t really want to talk about being a free agent right now or [about] my contract year, because I’m going to get 1,000 questions next year. I’ll just save it for next year.
Q.This is something I’ve been curious about all season — you do all kinds of charity work but always in private and never for publicity. Why?
A. You don’t do charity work for publicity. Well, I know I don’t. Everybody’s different. I feel like if you do stuff like that for charity, it should be from the heart. You don’t have to get exposure for it.
The people that you’re doing it for are very grateful. It’s not to get media attention. It’s not to get the NBA behind me. I do it for myself. I do it for the people that need it and I do it because I want to do it.
There’s no need for a big media blast. People do that stuff all the time all across the world that you don’t hear about. People volunteer over in foreign countries and do way more stuff than I’m doing.
So for me to do what I do, I’m very blessed to be in my situation. I don’t feel like I need any exposure or a pat on the back when I’m doing it. I do it because I want to do it.
Q.But do you ever think about how you could change people’s perception of you if they saw that side of you more often?
A. I don’t really care what people think. The people in my circle do know the type of person that I am and know the genuine person that I am. If you don’t know me, then you just don’t know me.
I don’t go to bed at night thinking about what people say about me. If people think I’m a bad person, so be it. That’s their problem. Millions of people only know me from what they see on TV.
Q.Well, I ask because doing charity work in private is something that just doesn’t seem to happen all that often these days, especially in the NBA, where press releases are sent out way in advance of those kinds of events.
A. Like I said, you don’t do things from the heart for attention. But everybody’s different. Everybody doesn’t think like that. I do.
I don’t really care about exposure. I care about doing the right thing at the time being. Like I said, whether it’s 20 people or 100 people, as long as I make a difference in some kids’ lives, that’s what I’m going to try to do. I didn’t have a lot growing up as a kid, so I just try to give back.Baxter Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BaxterHolmes.