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Celtics Morning Joe: Catcing up with Rondo

Posted by shawn cassidy on September 16, 2013 at 5:00 AM

The title seemed to be enough this morning. Where has Rondo been? This entire summer we've seen Rondo from a far at a teammates wedding, and at his summer camp, and we've heard others talking about him from his new coach, and old coach along with KG and Pierce. Rondo's been poked and prodded by fans, writers, and players. Gary Payton had some very fond words for Rondo.


One NBA legend has clearly seen Rondo at his best, and sees his full potential. Gary Payton, who is known as one of the best defensive players of all time and one of the most ruthless competitors, believes that Rajon Rondo is the only player currently in the NBA who could live up to Payton's reputation. In the quotes, you can read that Payton's comparison originates mostly from the defensive end, as he doesn't believe Rondo has quite the same scoring ability. "The Glove" also questions Rondo's attitude, believing that it is his major obstacle to greatness.

At some levels, you can certainly see the similarities. Although Payton is a little taller, they have a similar physique. Neither had the type of body to make you wonder how long they were doing dumbbell curls in the weight room, but still have the type of strength to guard anybody. Defense is a personal challenge for both players, and neither have ever been afraid to guard anyone; whether it be Michael Jordan or LeBron James.

Obviously, Rajon Rondo is far from Gary Payton. Payton is the superior scorer, and he seemed to bring his competitive fire on a much more consistent basis. It's tough to imagine Rondo scoring over 20 points per game as Payton did multiple times, although this season might be a good time to start.

Regardless, it's an interesting comparison that Payton chose to make. Rondo's attitude is still the major question inside Payton's head, as is the case with plenty of NBA fans. "The Glove" is a basketball legend, and I'm sure Rondo would be honored to have his name brought up in the same sentence.

This writer can't allow Rondo his kudos. He rips him apart. The writer points out that Rondo could never score over 20 a game like Payton, and the writer negates the fact that Rondo is a past first point guard. Payton's highest assist total in a season was 9.0 per game. I don't discredit that Payton wasn't a better scorer, but that doesn't mean that Rondo's not worthy of someday becoming an equal to Payton somehow. 

Rondo has been given many titles in the passing years. He's become a coach killer this past summer, and it's an unfair label that has been given to him, and what about his issues with Ray Allen from the summer before. These are things that people credit as fact, and to be fair to everyone. A little of it's true in some ways, not the coaching killing, and troubled teammate. But incidents did occur, but isn't it human nature? The Beatles were all great friends, and they made great music, but a time came when they all drifted apart, and there was arguing, and fighting. But they all loved each other still, and they still made great music together. They decided to split, and in someways Danny made that call this summer with the remaining members. 

The Beatles broke up for a few reasons, but the biggest was creative control. George Harrison was allowed 2 songs per album, and Lennon and McCartney were heading down two different paths as song writers. Ray Allen took off for an easy ring it had very little to do with Rondo if anything, and so did Doc. Rondo was cast as the villain, and all of us are told to follow that note. The seed has been planted, and now the young basketball genius who gets praise from past greats is labeled as a lazy player who gets up for big games. Rondo was a victim of the culture that was formed by his coach, and General Manager. They valued rest, and avoiding injuries. With that the Celtics lost many games in the regular season. The Celtics valued everything else besides winning in the regular season. Obviously they won enough games to reach the playoffs, and that's when the Celtics played their very best. 

Rondo isn't a saint by any means, but why does he shoulder all of the blame for anything that goes wrong? Enough ranting. The Celtics will likely miss Rondo for the first month or so of the season, and his comeback mission looks like a slow process.

Stevens urges Rondo to return when ready - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston

Despite the obstacles ahead in both coming back from the ACL tear and navigating a team in transition, Stevens stressed that Rondo is ready for the challenges. "My general sense is that he’s really excited," said Stevens. "He is excited about the challenge of the new season, he’s excited about the challenge of a new situation. He seems to be excited. I don’t want to speak for him, and I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but every time we’ve talked it’s been a really engaging conversation."

Rondo improving, unlikely for start of season | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com
While there hasn't been a delay in his recovery, Rondo's timetable looks more and more like he will miss all of the preseason as well as some regular season games.

Rondo is dealing with strong doubt from so many, and he's not the only player dealing with this. Look at James, as much as I hate that guy, and no matter how I feel about him, he's changed his public image in the past two seasons. Will Rondo bring another banner to Boston? That seems like his only chance to win Boston over. Until then, he'll be the guy that shoulders the blame.

Categories: Celtics Morning Joe

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1 Comment

Reply paul
3:19 PM on September 16, 2013 
The obligatory Rondo putdown when Rondo is linked to one of the greats is nauseating. Rondo has already put up a great career, especially for someone late in the draft.

About the Beatles: the reality is that they never did break up. They just moved further apart. They never broke up. And neither will Doc-KG-PP and Rondo. Those guys will always, in some sense, be looking at each other, thinking about each other, playing off each other.

I totally agree about Ray. Ray wanted easy rings. He used Rondo as cover. Blaming Rondo was his cover.

Agree too that Rondo has been blamed for a culture that was largely the fault of the vets, Doc and Danny. Rondo had to shape his game to fit three old guys, and a coach who whose mind always seemed to be on the golf course, and it affected him. That said, no one is taking all the blame away from Rondo. He must be a more consistent leader on both ends if he is to be the player that he is envisioned to be, that he seems to want to be.

I agree too that it will take a championship without the Big Three for Rondo to win over some of his critics.