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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Rondology: Limbo

Posted by paul on January 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

An era has ended in Boston Celtics history.  No, not the Big Three era.  I don't think that will really end until KG and PP retire.  No, the Rondo era has ended - before it has really begun.   It's funny, in a way, to see the Haters enjoying the same enthusiasm and optimism Rondo fans felt this summer.  Ah, how the Wheel of Fortune turns.  Their hopes too could crumble if Pierce continues to be a turnover machine, or if KG goes down, or if Sully turns out not to be quite as NBA ready as they think he is.  But the worm will turn, the dog will have its day, and Haters are in ascendancy now.   Mazz and Felger, your hour has come.   Bob Ryan, it's your turn to shine.  Dan Shaughnasty, fire up your typewriter.  Hardball is back.


In a way, I understand where the Haters are coming from.   Dave Cowens formed my views on basketball;  he pioneered the phrase "Hardball"  when he was coaching the Hornets, back in the eighties or nineties.   Watching Rondo play Magic Turnstile defense has nauseated that part of me, the part of me nurtured by Dave Cowens and Larry Bird.  I've loved the way Avery Bradley and Sullinger have piled up blue collar credentials.


But I love players like Bob Cousy and Nate Archibald and Isiah Thomas too.  The way I've seen it, and continue to see it, the difference between the Haters and Rondo fans is that Rondo fans mostly aren't blind to his faults, but the Haters appear to be nearly blind to his virtue.  If Rondo makes a fancy pass, they accuse him of elevating style over substance.   Well, setting aside questions of form vs. function,  how about if we play that game with every player?   Look at KG, always prancing around like the badest MF since Leroy Brown;  everyone knows he hates to mix it up in the paint!  Don't get me wrong, now:  I love KG.   I'm just asking that we stop playing the double standard game when it comes to Rondo, where every possible criticism of Rondo is not only true without any reservation, without any possible counterargument, but also impugns him as both a basketball player and a person.


Of course, part of the reason KG doesn't like to operate in the paint is that he's not the sturdiest seven footer in the game, by far, which matters if you want to avoid injury,  and - more importantly -  he has found that he can use his combination of height and quickness to amazing advantage a bit further towards the perimeter.   His prancing is, of course, a lot  about motivating himself while trying to take his opponents' heads out of the game.   There is method to his madness.


There is plenty of method to Rondo's madness too, but you'd never know it to hear the Haters.    They rail endlessly against Rondo's turnstyle D and constant gambling, and they attribute it soley to a thirst for stats.  In their eyes, everything about Rondo comes down to that sole motivation.  It's really quite incredible.   They really seem to think that Rondo doesn't care about anything other than his stats.  They reduce this complex human being to that single motivation.  But, of course, when Rondo is really on his game, he's one of the most disruptive defenders in the game.   He can handle almost anyone one-on-one, but he's also brilliant at wandering the interior of an opponent's offense, deflecting balls, double-teaming and wreaking havoc.  Funny how Haters don't seem to like to talk about that aspect of Rondo's defensive play.


Interestingly too, Haters love to point out that the rest of the team plays better when Rondo's not there, but they don't seem to think that this is any reason to criticize other folks on the team for their poor play when Rondo is there.  In their eyes, Rondo is solely responsible.  It's interesting how double standards work.  When the team plays well, they claim that it's nothing to do with Rondo, but when the team plays badly, it's all Rondo's fault.


Interesting too how everyone gave Bradley a pass when he tweeted a taunt against Rondo.   Had Rondo done that ...!!!!!?  Just imagine if Rondo had tweeted some taunt against Pierce after he twice bobbled the Knicks game away.  Sometimes double standards tell you a lot.


It's gotten so crazy that even when Rondo does something good, it's immediately turned into further evidence of how bad he is.  Did Rondo get twenty assists?  He's selfish.  Did Rondo have a triple double?  You can't build around him.   Did Rondo get 5 steals?   He's reckless.  Did Rondo shut down his man?  Shows how important KG is.  


This team had to change direction, and perhaps because everyone vacillated, karma seems to have stepped in.   A new era has come.   Avery Bradley is the face of that new era.   In the end, leadership is a social thing.  I don't think Rondo's teammates hate him.  I think one or two even like him.   KG seems to love him.  But they hate playing with him, it seems.  Bradley may be a cloaked barracuda, judging by his Rondo taunt, and by the way he tried to walk it back,  but he plays hard on D.  If he keeps that up, it should give him a pretty strong base of respect with his teammates, and most likely he can build from there.  


Rondo, on the other hand,  seems to have lost his teammates' respect.  Or maybe the real story is uglier than that.  Maybe some of the new guys saw vulnerability in Rondo and thought that they could rise up if he fell down.  Don't assume that didn't happen.  Sports, like the rest of the world, can be cut-throat.  Whatever the 'real' story, or stories, Rondo now enters what looks to be at least a six-month period of recovery.


Even if one could assume that Rondo will come back, in six months, the same player he is now, the team will be a completely different team, one way or another.  If the team thrives without him, Rondo may not even be welcome back, or may have to try to fight his way onto a team that has no real role for him.   If the team doesn't thrive without Rondo, Ainge and co. will have to make decisions about the future that don't necessarily involve Rondo centrally.   We really can't even be sure how long it will take for Rondo to come back, and whether he will be fully recovered when he does return.  He may never be the same, physically, or it may take several years for him to return to form, and by then his prime may have passed its peak.  Already Rondo was struggling to keep up with younger, faster, quicker, more explosive guards.  Guys like Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings and Kyrie Irving were torching him.   The young lions  will only be younger, faster and more explosive when Rondo comes back.  If he comes back the same player, without improving the fundamentals of his game, he may not even be as good as he has been this year, and he has REALLY struggled at times this year.  As Jason Kidd shows, smarts can go a long way, but Rondo's stubbornness, sometimes his best quality, has hurt him a lot recently.  It will take all his stubbornness to get through this injury and recovery process, but will he know when to be stubborn and when not to be stubborn?   Will he know when to be more humble, when to be willing to recognize a need to change what he is doing?


For Rondo fans, a winter of discontent may bleed into a summer of uncertainty, and for Rondo, it will surely be a tough journey, no matter what.  Keep the faith, Rondo fans!   


And Haters too...

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17 Comments

Reply Franklin
11:38 AM on January 30, 2013 
Its sad that Lee,and Bass feel the need to blame Rondo. And I expect the hate to come. If this team somehow wins it all. A vefy big if. Rondos days in Boston are over.
Reply Birdman33
11:40 AM on January 30, 2013 
The haters will have their day, but the end result could have still been a title this year. If the Celtics do play better, does that mean they can make a real run in the playoffs. This is a storyline that I didn't want to see play out. But one side of the Rondo fandom will ave their day,but the real mission will always be banner 18.
Reply jlil89
12:51 PM on January 30, 2013 
Franklin says...
Its sad that Lee,and Bass feel the need to blame Rondo. And I expect the hate to come. If this team somehow wins it all. A vefy big if. Rondos days in Boston are over.


I can understand Lee feeling upset. He does seem to need the ball a bit more to be truly effective. And his minutes suffered pretty badly throughout the season, which I didn't like. Bass however can shut the hell up. He is just getting outplayed BADLY by a rookie.
Reply paul
3:06 PM on January 30, 2013 
Franklin says...
Its sad that Lee,and Bass feel the need to blame Rondo. And I expect the hate to come. If this team somehow wins it all. A vefy big if. Rondos days in Boston are over.


That's how I see it too, Franklin. Even if the team just plays really well without Rondo, his time with the Celtics is surely over.
Reply paul
4:00 PM on January 30, 2013 
Birdman33 says...
The haters will have their day, but the end result could have still been a title this year. If the Celtics do play better, does that mean they can make a real run in the playoffs. This is a storyline that I didn't want to see play out. But one side of the Rondo fandom will ave their day,but the real mission will always be banner 18.



I think we could have been a greater team if there hadn't been the hate storm against Rondo, even on the part of some players it almost seems, and too if Rondo had played harder. We may be a great team anyway, but I truly believe this could have been something even more special.
Reply paul
4:02 PM on January 30, 2013 
jlil89 says...
I can understand Lee feeling upset. He does seem to need the ball a bit more to be truly effective. And his minutes suffered pretty badly throughout the season, which I didn't like. Bass however can shut the hell up. He is just getting outplayed BADLY by a rookie.



I don't feel very much for Lee. I feel that he, and Bass, and Green and Terry mouthed respect for Rondo, but when it came to bringing it out on the floor, they were his worst enemies at times. I'm not going to be fooled, I'll tell you that much, if they suddenly become the players we anticipated all along. Most fans and media will eat that up, but I won't. I'll still be demanding an explanation of why they waited for Rondo to be gone.
Reply Morena
4:04 PM on January 30, 2013 
Interesting read.
I'll try to sum up all my thoughts in this post.

I think that this team can play well without rondo; even better at the beginning.
Sunday win is a great example. But let?s face it: KG and Pierce played 40 minutes each and carried the team. How long can they do this? I still have a lot to learn about basketball, so I may be completely wrong, but that?s the first question that came to my mind.
Rondo haters don?t seem to think about this. They really love double standards.
I don?t even think that Rondo is SO obsessed about stats. I mean, sometimes it seems he is just racking up stats, but I?m sure that his last goal is to win. Just think about last year: his scoring stats were really good at the beginning of the season, but his teammates wanted the ball, so he just stopped scoring and stated passing the ball even more. That?s when the streak began. It?s hard to understand what?s in Rondo?s mind, but I think that he likes his stats, but his hunger of victory is a lot bigger.
Even about fancy pass. There?s no denying he does that, and I?m sure sometimes he does fancy passes for the people and just to have some fun, but there are times when he racks up impossible assists because that was, for him, the easiest way to pass the ball, he saw that in his mind just milliseconds before passing.
Rondo really struggled at times this year, and we may never know why. Is it really true that some of the players don?t respect him? It looks like it is, but at the same time, it?s hard to think that the coach and the Celtics organization kept trying to build the offense around Rondo.
I may not know basketball, but those guys surely do.

I don?t know who the new face of the franchise will be for the fans.
Rondo should be the new face of the franchise, but there are too much haters. I?m afraid that all those people will understand the true value of what they had when Rondo will be gone. And I hope this will happen when he will end his career at the age of 38 and the Celtics will retire the #9 t-shirt.
The way I see it, there?s nobody else with the same swag, talent and artistic ability; so Rondo will remain the rest of the franchise for me.
And I hope Ainge and Doc will agree with me.

After two days during which was literally sick, I?m back to my fighting mood again.
Rondo will be back. He always loved study films and I?m sure he will do a lot of that during his rehab time.
He?s really stubborn, no doubt about that, but I think that a torn ACL it?s a really hard and humbling experience for everyone, especially an athlete. Rondo is stubborn but he is no stupid, that?s for sure. He know that now, he has to fight for his second chance. People, me included, always seems to think that they always have time to improve, to chance things, and to be better. Sometimes, things happen when you just stop and understand that you?ve been very lucky, but that time is no unlimited. This is one of those situation.
Rondo is a true warriors, we already know that.
His agent says that he is distraught but he understand what he needs to do.
He will need the support of his teammates, but he has a really strong will, and he wants to be an NBA player. He said this summer that he wants to retire as the best Celtics point guard ever, and he still has a lot to do to be considered the best Celtics point guard ever. So I?m sure that his stubbornness will help him this time.
It will be hard, especially at the beginning, because he will be surrounded by Doctors that will tell him what he can or can?t do. But he will fight through this. I?m sure.
If there?s one thing I?ll never have doubts about, it?s Rondo intelligence and will.
He will never disappoint me in that way. I?m sure.
Reply Cisco
7:46 PM on January 30, 2013 
Haters are in full attack mode.
The best Celtics player is out for the season and what happens? Talks about how good this team is without Rondo keep spreading on Celtics blogs.
So unfair to Rondo. Unbelievable and so sad.
They hardly had win a 2OT game against Miami and, suddenly, this team is clearly better without Rondo?
I am pissed with these Rondo-unhappy guards right now... Starting with Avery Bradley, who taunted against Rondo couple of weeks ago. When you're (actually) a mediocre 3rd year player, who just had a (only) half of good season last year, defensively, you just cannot be in the same sentence with a NBA champ, a 4 time All Star, the league assists leader and all what Rondo represents. Then Terry and Lee, all being freed up by a mate injury?
Well, they might win some games, but they will fail, eventually.
They all cannot replace what Rondo brings to the table in playoffs. They are far away. And I lost respect for these guys.
Reply paul
10:51 PM on January 30, 2013 
Morena says...
Interesting read.
I'll try to sum up all my thoughts in this post.

I think that this team can play well without rondo; even better at the beginning.
Sunday win is a great example. B....But he will fight through this. I?m sure.
If there?s one thing I?ll never have doubts about, it?s Rondo intelligence and will.
He will never disappoint me in that way. I?m sure.


Thankyou for sharing your thoughts and feelings, Morena. I know you've helped me a lot with this, because if you really love a player, it's a big adjustment when they are gone. What means the most to me out of your comments is what you say about how important it is to realize that time isn't unlimited. I've been wondering too if this is something that Rondo, like Green, needed to come to a clearer understanding about. It's something that is important for everyone, I think, whatever field they are in.

Somehow, there is a deeper story about what happened, about how this season went so badly wrong.
Reply paul
10:54 PM on January 30, 2013 
Cisco says...
Haters are in full attack mode.
The best Celtics player is out for the season and what happens? Talks about how good this team is without Rondo keep spreading on Celtics blogs.
So unfair to Rondo. Unbelievable and so sad.
They hardly had win a 2OT game against Miami and, suddenly, this team is clearly better without Rondo?
I am pissed with these Rondo-unhappy guards right now... Starting with Avery Bradley, who taunted against Rondo couple of weeks ago. When you're (actually) a mediocre 3rd year player, who just had a (only) half of good season last year, defensively, you just cannot be in the same sentence with a NBA champ, a 4 time All Star, the league assists leader and all what Rondo represents. Then Terry and Lee, all being freed up by a mate injury?
Well, they might win some games, but they will fail, eventually.
They all cannot replace what Rondo brings to the table in playoffs. They are far away. And I lost respect for these guys.


The only one I still respect is KG. You can tell that KG is really hurt and upset. With the others, you really have to wonder why they only play real ball when Rondo's not there. There's just so much more to this story than what we've heard. But that doesn't explain away Rondo's poor play, especially on defense.
Reply paul
10:57 PM on January 30, 2013 
Isn't it funny that Kobe is showing Rondo more genuine respect than most of Rondo's teammates?
Reply Morena
2:35 AM on January 31, 2013 
paul says...
The only one I still respect is KG. You can tell that KG is really hurt and upset. With the others, you really have to wonder why they only play real ball when Rondo's not there. There's just so much more to this story than what we've heard. But that doesn't explain away Rondo's poor play, especially on defense.

That's something I've noticed too!! They just play with more effort when Rondo's not there!! And this makes me really angry.
As you said, it's really funny that Kobe showed more respect for Rondo that his teammates other than KG.
Reply paul
8:26 AM on January 31, 2013 
Morena says...
That's something I've noticed too!! They just play with more effort when Rondo's not there!! And this makes me really angry.
As you said, it's really funny that Kobe showed more respect for Rondo that his teammates other than KG.



KG is the sole reason I care about the Celtics at all now. Maybe the way things went this season really is all Rondo's fault, but I think that's ridiculous. Rondo has his faults, but he's not the monstrously selfish and mean person that it would take to destroy a talented team that way, at least as far as I can tell.
Reply Cisco
12:22 PM on January 31, 2013 
paul says...
Isn't it funny that Kobe is showing Rondo more genuine respect than most of Rondo's teammates?


Funny thing indeed!
Kobe saying that he's there, if needed...!
Other players too... even other team's fans.
But not the Haters.

I did too noticed that KG feels different. He IS different, because he and Rondo share the same passion for the game, they share the same fight spirit and they are the kind of players that refuse to shake hands with the winners (remember the loss against the Heat, last playoffs?).

Even Paul Pierce (which I suspect is not Rondo best friend), acted kind of decent and professional, unlike all others who did mention one way or another that they are "troubled" with Rondo balling too much.
Reply paul
8:54 PM on January 31, 2013 
Cisco says...
Funny thing indeed!
Kobe saying that he's there, if needed...!
Other players too... even other team's fans.
But not the Haters.

I did too noticed that KG feels different. He IS different, because he and Rondo share the same passion for the game, they share the same fight spirit and they are the kind of players that refuse to shake hands with the winners (remember the loss against the Heat, last playoffs?).

Even Paul Pierce (which I suspect is not Rondo best friend), acted kind of decent and professional, unlike all others who did mention one way or another that they are "troubled" with Rondo balling too much.


Cisco, what touched me the most was Kobe doing the Rondo breakaway assist. That's a tribute to Rondo, in my view. No question about it. I respect Kobe a lot for that.

KG - no question that guy loves Rondo and has a lot in common with him. Pierce? I don't trust him. No way. This whole thing is Pierce's last hurrah. He just could not give up the team to Rondo. Just couldn't do it. I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to believe that he went from bobbling the ball out of bounds at the end of the Knicks game TWICE to playing some of the best ball in a long time innocently. Really, Pierce? We supposed to buy this crapola from you? Suddenly you are Mr. Excellence, when three games ago you were playing maybe the worst basketball you ever played?

I'm not buying it. And I'll tell you this, Pauly: you'd better hope this team doesn't stumble. Because if it does, I think Ainge will clear the house, and rightly so. What happened this season was shameful, and right now everyone is blaming Rondo, but what goes around comes around. Same goes for Avery. You can stick that knife in a teammate's back, but you might turn around and find out that it worked its way into your back.
Reply Morena
2:31 AM on February 1, 2013 
paul says...
Cisco, what touched me the most was Kobe doing the Rondo breakaway assist. That's a tribute to Rondo, in my view. No question about it. I respect Kobe a lot for that.

KG - no question that guy loves Rondo and has a lot in common with him. Pierce? I don't trust him. No way. This whole thing is Pierce's last hurrah. He just could not give up the team to Rondo. Just couldn't do it. I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to believe that he went from bobbling the ball out of bounds at the end of the Knicks game TWICE to playing some of the best ball in a long time innocently. Really, Pierce? We supposed to buy this crapola from you? Suddenly you are Mr. Excellence, when three games ago you were playing maybe the worst basketball you ever played?

I'm not buying it. And I'll tell you this, Pauly: you'd better hope this team doesn't stumble. Because if it does, I think Ainge will clear the house, and rightly so. What happened this season was shameful, and right now everyone is blaming Rondo, but what goes around comes around. Same goes for Avery. You can stick that knife in a teammate's back, but you might turn around and find out that it worked its way into your back.


Word!! I couldn't agree more with what you said!!
And if I remember well, Pierce did the same thing last year together with Allen!!
Reply paul
5:06 AM on February 1, 2013 
Morena says...
Word!! I couldn't agree more with what you said!!
And if I remember well, Pierce did the same thing last year together with Allen!!


That's how I saw it at the time, Morena. Folks can call me crazy and paranoid now, but I promise, eventually it will come out that these guys hated Rondo and didn't mind making life more difficult for him. Sports teams always pretend to be 'happy family', but the reality is that there is always contention within the group, I think, and that has a bigger effect than folks want to say. Feuds such as the one between Kobe and Shaq become legendary, but they aren't the only ones...