|Posted by paul on November 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM|
The ridiculous 'controversy' over Rondo stat-padding at the end of a game that most of his teammates had long since given up on reminds me of the supposed controversy over Rondo supposedly clotheslining Dwayne Wade. This video...
... demonstrates that what Rondo said at the time was true, that going for a last second dunk just to humiliate the opposition, as Wade appeared to do, is generally considered bad form in the NBA, to the point where when Lillard did it recently, the entire opposing Chicago team appeared upset, and Nate Robinson had to act as a peacemaker, explaining things to Lillard. It's pretty obvious that the haters seize any chance to come after Rondo.
Well, haters, you'd better have at it while you can. The way Rondo has been developing as a player, and as a leader, opportunities to jump on his case may become more and more rare. Two prime haters, Bob Ryan and Dan Shaugnessy, did precisely that over at Hate Central (otherwise known as CSNNE)...
Ryan seems to think that assist records are meaningless because the definition of an assist has been broadened, such that a pass leading to a jump shot can now be an assist, whereas in Cousy's era, it would not have been. That might be an interesting point, Bob, except that jump shooting - as Ryan knows - is much better now than it was in Cousy's day. Players simply shoot MUCH better. Setting up a good J today is comparable to setting up a shot closer to the hoop in the old days. I'm sure Cousy would be the first to remind Ryan of this, because it's really quite obvious. Ryan knows it too. He's that eager, though, to denigrate what Rondo has been accomplishing over the past year. It's disgraceful.
Shaughnasty goes him one better though. Dan tells a story about Bird, where Bird was coming off the floor with a triple double and 9 steals, and someone suggests to him that he should go back to try to collect that last steal. Bird's reaction, as Shaughnasty regales the story, is to turn away from that person in disgust. Presumably standing in for Larry, Shaughnasty conveys that same disgust for Rondo, and indicates that he washes his hands of the worthless young man!!!!
I mean, wow! Dan, you ARE aware that Larry himself appeared to be possibly the hottest buyer on the basketball market for our wondrously delinquent young man a year ago, aren't you? Sure you are. The idea of dismissing a guy for a little stat-padding is so ludicrous that it's really quite amazing, except that in the world of Boston media, especially in the world of CSNNE, this kind of meanspirited silliness is all too common.
And what on earth is with these old sportswriters hating on Rondo? Rondo himself is a throwback in a lot of ways One would think they'd put him on a pedestal if anything. Sheesh.
Admittedly, had Rondo's egregious stat-padding not happened in the context of such an egregiously awful game by the whole team, and had he not been one of the few players who played relatively well, it probably would have been a lot more disturbing. As it happened, though, Rondo's record chase was a long lost ray of light in a terrible wasted evening of pseudo-basketball. I would guess that most Celtics fans were glad he did it, and it was fun to see him and Sully making it happen together. Rondo and Sully seem to be developing a strong connection. That's awfully good to see, because Sullinger seems to be a real Celtics type of player. I'm glad they had a little fun at the end of the game and kept the streak going.
What I'm more glad about is that according to Greg Payne, on Twitter, the Cs had a Team Meeting today. That is really awesome, if it's true. I'm so glad the guys didn't wait any longer. It will be really interesting to see what kind of team emerges tomorrow night.