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Take the subject to dinner—and the beautiful, charming and disarming Shannon Allen, wife of Celtics star Ray, did just that on her spicy new cooking show on Boston’s cable sports network, taped at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center complex in their Action Kitchen.
Each week, Shannon will cook up a storm and serve it to the athlete of choice. On the menu in future shows will be Wes Welker, Glen Davis, Kevin Youkilis as well as, of course, Ray Allen.
In mid-February, as the show’s guest, Rajon Rondo looked bemused during the cooking sequence as Shannon asked him to do a modicum of labor, like beating up cornflakes for the crispy chicken.
The Celtics point guard is obviously not used to taking orders, but rather, prefers giving them. That includes, of course, general of the troops on the basketball court, but also when at work in the kitchen. Rondo confessed he does all the cooking at home and even once considered going to culinary school.
It appears Rajon (and he informs everyone how to pronounce his name correctly on the show) may in fact be the general in his own culinary den. He does much of his own healthy meal preparations at home, especially since he wants his daughter to eat healthy.
He also takes the opportunity to point out how little body fat he has (lowest in the league, he boasts proudly). The spitfire guard attributed his condition to youth—not yet overly worried about his dietary intake like the older members of the team who surround him.
Having been taped before the infamous trades by the Celtics at the end of February, Rajon is seen noting how great the camaraderie has been with this team, especially off the court. He confesses they act like brothers, even to the point of fighting a little bit. It makes the loss since the taping more palpable.
If Rajon loves cornbread, how can there be any surprise? Eating cornbread became a superstitious ritual during the Celtics run for the championship in 2008, when the players ate together during the playoffs. Lucky for Rondo, former Celtics player and current radio analyst Cedric Maxwell has already stolen the nickname “Cornbread.”
But only one player’s name (other than Ray) crossed Rondo’s lips. Perhaps he put the curse of the “unfried chicken” meal on Kendrick Perkins. Though Rondo observed he was a big eater, only Perkins could wolf down four pizzas at a time, he reported. The scene now seems bittersweet, with Perkins half way across the country and in another division.
The twosome, often compared to Steinbeck’s Lennie and George, may have had their last Celtic meal together. Small George, the brains of the two in Of Mice and Men, often controlled the physically imposing Lennie and his fierce anger.
Often would Rondo push Perkins away from angry confrontations, saving him plenty of technical fouls. Now the Lennie figure will move on to Oklahoma City, where his thunderous attitude will find no leash to help him stay out of on-court trouble.
But, we still have Rajon—and he finally admits he is the hot sauce guy on the Celtics. He knows he is “fortunate” to be on a team that “gets along very well,” explaining the recent turmoil over the trade of Perkins.
Those fans that are lucky enough can find the “Pre-Game Meal” show, with Shannon Allen, available on Comcast stations.
Rajon Rondo gives us plenty to chew on.
You can read more about Rondo in William Russo’s books: RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR! and the latest entry RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA. Books are available at Amazon.com in softcover and in e-book formats.