|Posted by paul on April 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM|
Wow. The internet Rondo haters are out in force (eg. on Twitter). According to these wise minds, Rondo is a punk, a thug, and the same as, or worse than, Metta World Peace. Many people are bullies and will seize any chance to attack someone who is 'different'. Of course, there are the usual homophobic verbal assaults ('why was Rondo trying to grind on the referee'), as if to confirm that Rondo being different from the norm is what really enrages people about him. Otherwise it's not easy to explain people equating a very slight chest bump, slight enough that people are actually arguing about it, to a guy hauling off and assaulting someone else with their elbow, or even charging into the stands to assault people there. The unfolding feeding frenzy of hatred towards Rondo obviously has almost nothing to do with what he actually did.
I find it interesting too that most don't discuss the context. There is an assumption that the officials are always right, and even if they are not right, they are still right. Rondo was justly angry at the officiating. There were two extremely egregious and blatantly unfair calls in a row that cost the Celtics the game (most likely), which led up to the chest bump. Yet even seemingly more knowledgeable fans are claiming that Rondo cost the Cs the game, this being a game that they wouldn't have had a chance to win without him, and even though the awful foul call on Bass meant that the game was essentially over anyway, since Smith was about to get foul shots! To me, all this points to another ugly motivation for hating; a lot of people worship authority.
Based on these two crazy motivations, presumably, some people are even calling for a three game suspension! What's even crazier is that, the NBA being what it is, they'll likely get it.
Dan Shaughnessy jumps in with both feet, naturally. He can't miss a chance to rip Rondo, it seems:
“What does matter is a guy doing a selfish thing in the beginning of the playoffs, taking himself out of the next game. Even that game, that was a very winnable game at that point the way they were coming back,” said Shaughnessy. “We understand frustration and all that stuff, this is not acceptable. You don’t go anywhere with this guy as your leader.”
Gresh & Zo: Rondo’s Punk Move Hurts Celtics
“What this kid looks like to me is a product of the AAU environment, where you’re a special guy from the time you’re 10-years old,” he said of Rondo. “Tremendous talent, we know what he is. But that is not OK; it’s un-defendable,”
Shaughnessy's point about the sense of entitlement young players are encouraged to have is valid, of course. I'll never forget the blue chip guy we had at our highschool. Sheesh. But Rondo is certainly not a selfish player. In some ways, the is the paragon unselfish player. And no, as Shaugnessy knows, the game was not winnable when the techs happened. The comment that it was alone shows how little credibility Shaugnhessy has. He also calls the foul call on Bass correct. No, Dan, it should have been a jump ball, and you know it. Shaughnessy even calls Rondo's baby bump against the ref "brutal"; really? That slight tap was "brutal"?
The guys on the radio show where Shaughnessy holds forth even claim that Rondo isn't being hated enough in Boston!!!! They want him to be ripped harder and more!
This whole mess is a threat to Rondo's career. On one hand he clearly does have a real problem with channelling anger, as many, or most people do. That goes hand in hand with him being an extremely emotional player. Rondo clearly needs to keep working on that. It would be a terrible shame if his career was to be harmed by anger management problems. On the other hand, you have Rondo's bad reputation growing by leaps and bounds at this point. Most reputations are wildly overblown, but most people don't care about that. All they care about, it often seems, is victimizing anyone who has been scapegoated and set aside, kicking someone while they are down. We already see what looks to be a clear pattern of refs looking to avoid making calls in Rondo's favor, while making calls against him. This not only damages his career, but also puts a target on his back for people like Tyson Chandler to take advantage of. They know that they may be able to clobber Rondo and likely not even get a foul called. Is there anyone in the league who attacks the basket more without getting calls?
The other side of the coin is that Rondo is a creative person, who loves the game. When you have that going for you, you have a lot, and you can overcome a lot of adversity.
I think that if the suspension is for one game, Rondo will learn from this and move on. If it is for two or more, I think it will be unjust to both Rondo and the Celtics, and I think it will really hurt his career.
And I wonder; where is the accountability for refs? Players and coaches are not allowed to criticize them. Players and coaches are barely allowed to even talk to refs. Is this just, especially in the absence of any alternative way to object to what refs do?
Sheesh. Not to be outdone by WEEI and Shaughnessy, Clinchy offers up a hit piece at Celtics Blog:
We've witnessed countless moments over the last few years in which Rondo has come off as irrational, immature, insecure, confrontational or otherwise unfit to be the leader of a championship NBA team. It's got to be wearing on everyone around him. The Celtics' roster is packed with future Hall of Famers, and their coaching staff and front office alike are brimming with great basketball minds, but Rondo's the straw that stirs the drink, and all of them know it. Their championship fates are being held hostage by a volatile, unpredictable 26-year-old. At times like this, you can't imagine they're happy about it.
We live in a superstar-driven world. LeBron James got millions of viewers for his "Decision," Chris Paul forced his way to the Clippers, Carmelo Anthony not only went to the Knicks but squeezed his coach out to boot, and now Dwight Howard may get his coach axed as well. The Celtics don't have any megastars of quite that caliber, but Rondo's the closest thing they've got.
Without any noticeable irony, Clinchy offers up this witches' brew of Coach Killers and noted team cancers, so to speak, as if they somehow prove how bad Rondo is! Actually, no Evans, they point towards Rondo's virtues, as you must surely know. Rondo is passionate for the game itself, and loyal to a fault, and he is in someways the ultimate team-first player. As Garnett pointed out in connection with Rondo, the same things that make you great are invariably your achilles heel. Rondo is so clearly the type of player that you can build a great team around that if you are thinking about trading him, you clearly are not thinking in basketball terms.
Clinchy finishes his screed with this:
KG had nothing but positive words for Rondo last night, calling him "the head that forms Voltron" in his presser last night, a weird description of the point guard's ability to coordinate the team's offense. But behind the scenes, there's no doubt he's getting fed up with the little man's antics.
Apparently Clinchy is now a mind reader. According to Clinchy, we should ignore Garnett's effusive words for Rondo, and assume that they are a mere mask. I don't think so. I think that what Garnett was feeling was perfectly evident during his words to the press, and it was mostly about concern for Rondo and for the team. I'm sure Garnett recognizes what we all do: that this trainwreck could not only ruin the Celtics season, but could also ruin a potentially brilliant HOF career.
A lot of sources, starting with Celtics Life that I saw, are reporting that it is one game suspension. I can't believe Stern did the right thing?