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EST. 2011

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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Rondology: Two To Tango

Posted by paul on December 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Riddlin' Rondo

There was a time when Rondo and the Celtics seemed to be a marriage made in heaven.   Now it seems to be a marriage headed to Divorce.  Bill Burt puts it bluntly today for the EagleTribune:

Wouldn't Rondo be part of the "new" Celtics, after Garnett and Allen leave next summer?

Apparently, no.

In fact, the Celtics would rather have had Paul for one year, before he goes to the New York Knicks this summer to hook up with his buddy Carmelo Anthony. And then they'd rather have the flexibility to start all over again with Pierce as the last man standing.

...

The Celtics have already shown their cards. There's no pulling them back.

Rondo, unless there is an exorcism the next few days, is gone.

Why did it have to come to this? He could have been the face of the franchise, the Bob Cousy of this generation, eventually having his number "9" hanging in the rafters.

But Rondo's attitude has apparently gotten in the way. He is not an easy guy to coach. He is not an easy guy to play with. According to sources, he apparently takes "practice" about as serious as Allen Iverson did.

  http://www.eagletribune.com/sports/x536941299/Rondo-blew-a-good-thing

Burt blames everything on Rondo's attitude, echoing a growing meme in the media/fandom Group Think, according to which Rondo has to go because he is a jerk.   One might wonder why the guy who obviously plays with as much heart and emotion and creativity as Rondo, a guy who personifies team basketball (which used to be thought of as Celtics Basketball)  is being cast in the public mind as Super Jerk, whereas the guy who is holding his team over a barrell and won't let them trade him unless it's not only to the destination he wants, but also seems to demand the right to be with players of his choosing (eg. Tyson Chandler or Dwight Howard), is being covered with hearts and flowers even as he basically tells Boston to eff off.   As we have so often seen (eg. with the Perkins Trade), the Public Mind can be very perverse, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS LED ON A MERRY DANCE BY THE LAPDOG MEDIA...


In other words, maybe people would think better  if they weren't manipulated by the media.  Bill Burt's article would seem to be a case in point, excluding any possibility from consideration that the Celtics themselves might be at fault too, even though we all know there are two sides to nearly every story.


Gary Washburn offers a more insightful perspective at the Globe:

There definitely needs to be a long, soul-cleansing conversation between Danny Ainge and Rajon Rondo today before the Celtics begin training camp for what Ainge hopes will be one final championship season for his veteran core.

...

So after he scrambles to fill his roster, decides what to do with Green and Glen Davis, and acquires another productive big man, Ainge needs to address the mental state of his point guard. The “you know we love you, man’’ approach will translate as insincere and disrespectful.

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/articles/2011/12/09/trade_talk_is_sure_to_ruffle_rajon_rondo/


At least Washburn recognizes that Ainge has to come a ways here too, though it's more than a little silly of him to suggest that Danny ought to just let Rondo wait and stew while Danny continues to wheel and deal.   No, talking, not to, but with  Rondo ought to be his FIRST priority now. 


But Washburn too continues to heap plenty of  blame for the current situation on Rondo, even if it's in more measured terms:

 Despite brash confidence that has been known to anger opponents, Rondo revels in his insecurity....He remains a player who privately pouts over criticism and refuses to acknowledge his glaring weaknesses....Rondo has to enter camp today with a soaring level of doubt as to whether the Celtics truly trust his floor leadership. ... His stock has unquestionably depreciated in the past few months. Being torched by Derrick Rose in one-on-one matchups, showing an undependable jumper, missing free throws, and adopting a mercurial and aloof attitude has brought him his share of detractors locally and around the league. ... When circumstances are uncertain and criticism heavy, Rondo tends to mentally check out, and that has to change. There are times when he has such a mastery of the game that he appears to challenge himself mentally by creating adversity to overcome.

This is true adversity for Rondo. He has been doubted, not by opponents or those NBA observers who fault his offensive skills, free throw shooting, and defensive lapses, but by his own organization.

Much of this blame is probably fair, and Washburn praises Rondo's unique talents too, but he seems to handle Danny with considerably softer gloves:

 

Ainge was conjuring up trade scenarios to send him to New Orleans for Chris Paul, like a desperate gambler making one last roll of the dice before crapping out.

In a press conference eight days ago, Ainge said he was not trying to trade Rondo, but a Hornets source said this week that the Celtics were more than willing to move the two-time All-Star point guard for the brilliant Paul, who has an opt-out contract clause at season’s end. The Lakers tried to acquire Paul yesterday, but the deal was nixed by the NBA. ... Ainge tried desperately to make a run at this season’s title by choosing one year of Paul and more than $20 million in salary cap space next summer over Rondo and the current Big Three.

One negative about being a free-wheeling, maverick general manager is the repercussions when the daring moves don’t come to fruition. Ainge also dangled Jeff Green in a potential deal for Paul and two first-round picks, something that could help the Celtics rebuild in coming years.

Notice the difference?  If it's fair to critique Rondo's character faults, why isn't it fair to do the same to Ainge?  Washburn's own words come right up to the edge of pointing out that Danny seems to be turning into a reckless and inconsiderate fool, but for Washburn, the 'bottom line' is that he is "daring".  What I see is a desperate, frantic gambler who refuses to admit to mistakes.


It should be obvious by now that there are problems on both sides here, that there is a kind of personality conflict, and that both sides are in the process of shooting themselves in the feet, and that this is looking more and more like a tragic mistake.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







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5 Comments

Reply paul
12:41 PM on December 9, 2011 
Danny, Doc, the Big Three and Rondo need to get together and work all this out. They need to wake up to the fact that they are ruining something truly fine in Boston. It's not too late, but it's almost too late.
Reply Franklin
2:18 PM on December 9, 2011 
I think some blame should be put on Rondo. But not as much as they think.
Reply paul
2:32 PM on December 9, 2011 
Franklin says...
I think some blame should be put on Rondo. But not as much as they think.



That's how I see it too. Rondo certainly isn't blameless, but this isn't all about his flaws and peccadillos.
And if they really tried, they could fix this and restart things.
Reply paul
8:48 PM on December 9, 2011 
Reports after practice today (souza - twitter) say that Rondo has made a big point of being very professional about everything. This is very good news. Man a focused, determined Rondo ready to prove himself is JUST what we need!!
Reply paul
8:53 PM on December 9, 2011 
http://www.celticsblog.com/2011/12/9/2625036/rajon-rondo-what-me-
worry#comments

All the media saying that Rondo is a changed man!