|Posted by paul on May 4, 2012 at 7:20 AM|
There was a time when Ray Allen's shadow was easily distinguishable. Young Rajon Rondo determined in order to carve his path to greatness, he, too, needed to adopt a concentrated, rigid, consistent routine.
So, during the 2007-08 season, he attached himself to Allen and began mimicking the work ethic of his decorated teammate. Rondo started showing up 3½ hours before game time, just like Ray. He hoisted up a precise number of jumpers, just like Ray. He retreated to the locker room to shower pregame, just like Ray. The guys on the team ribbed him about whether he was going to shave his head, just like Ray.
Since then, Rondo has established himself as one of the top young players at his position. He is a three-time All-Star and this year's NBA assists leader.
With that has come the need to establish his own identity -- and generate some independence from the three Hall of Famers who have mentored him from the start. Naturally, that process has, at times, created some discomfort. Privately, his veteran teammates wish Rondo worked harder, longer. And yet, in the same breath, they laud his toughness, fearlessness and insatiable thirst for competition.
It has been nearly three years since Rondo shadowed Allen during his pregame routine.
"I don't really know what happened," Allen shrugged. "I guess he decided to follow his own way. He has a strong mind."
Celtics Town also discusses this article. Both commentators seem to assume that Rondo's workhabits can be measured based on what the Big Three think. I think Ray is more on the money when he says that everyone is different. I think Rondo's steady improvement suggests strongly that he has very good work habits, just not ones that are so visible.