Gerald Wallace has seen Rajon Rondo from all sides. He’s watched him from an opponent’s perspective; he’s seen him as a teammate with the Celtics.

Wallace has seen Rondo dive on the floor for a loose ball just as he would, and he’s seen him sweat the small stuff in a way he never would.

And he thinks it’s all worth it.

As he prepares to undergo season ending surgery on his left knee and ankle tomorrow, Wallace offered an inside and unvarnished view of Rondo that most are either unable or unwilling to provide. And where some on the outside and even a few teammates (a Mr. Ray Allen on Line 1) find him unnecessarily difficult, Wallace sees an honesty.

“I think you’ve got to be your own person,” Wallace said. “I think that’s what makes him so special. You don’t want him to change. I think the main thing is you don’t want him to be fake. You want what you get from him to be real. And I think as much as he’s a pain in the (butt) sometimes, it’s real.

“I’ve gotten to know him and really understand him. It’s just his competitiveness and his will to fight and want to win. . . . He doesn’t like to lose, and that’s the type of guy that you want to play with.”

The past few years have seen several Celtics acquisitions come to appreciate Rondo after thinking him a jerk from the other side. But Wallace wanted what he saw — and he got it.

“From what I’d seen and what I’d played against, and then being here and being with him, it’s kind of exactly what I expected,” Wallace said. “I mean, you see his competitiveness, his fire, his will to fight out on the court. As an opponent, when you see guys like that getting into that scuffle with (then-Nets property and now C’s teammate Kris) Humphries last year — when you see guys like that, it kind of makes you want to play with them. You kind of want to see if they’re really like that, you know what I’m saying? And he’s every bit of that, 100 percent. He’s competitive. He competes at everything.

“I mean, he’s that cocky guy that you want on your side, that you want to go to war with. You may have some doubts about what kind of person he is until you get with him, and I think he’s everything that I thought he was from playing against him on the court.”

As for how Rondo will be seen in marketing terms as the Celtics try to attract free agents in their rebuilding process, Wallace believes he will be a good salesman for the kind of player the team should be after.