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A snowy day and Rondo

Posted by Morena on February 25, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Today I was cleaning my courtyard after a snowing day,and I started thinking about Rondo.

Yes, as strange as it may sound, the snow reminded meof Rondo.

When you’re a kid, snow is amazing. The silence thatfill the air, the soft noise it makes under your feet, the warm hug you feelmaking a snow angel. When you’re a kid, you see the magic of snow. Instead,when you grow up, it becomes just a problem.

Just like that, Rondo has magic in him, but noteveryone can see it.

The Rondo interview that Paul posted yesterday, forcedme to do a lot of thinking.

First of all, I asked myself why Rondo did thisinterview. He’s always very private and he never volunteered for anintrospective interview. In the last year we’ve seen Rondo struggling to becomeCeltics leader. There has been public episodes with referees and reportedproblems with teammates. Most fans and the media seems to find always somethingwrong with Rondo. He was too inconsistent and didn’t shot before, he plays forhimself and his stats now, “chocking” his teammates. Rondo as always been underattack by the media, but in the last months, the situation has gotten worse.Maybe, this is the reason why Rondo decided to do this interview. He always hasthose poker face which don’t let you understand his emotions, but he is humanand he has feelings. Maybe he just wanted to show everybody that he’s not theogre most people think.

We’ve always known Rondo as a very introverted person,and this is confirmed by his interview.

Even the fact that he prefer to play connect fourduring public event confirm this. Connect four is a strategy game, that allowsRondo to change the subject of everybody’s attention. Yes, he’s the man, butwhen the game begins, the spotlight is all on the game and on the results, andall the people just stare intently at the grid with red and yellow coins.

Those who are not introverted, may not understandthis, but I think that express feeling is an art, and sometimes, when you findit hard, you have to find your own way to do it. Maybe Rondo use the basketballcourt to express his feelings. Maybe his personality is out there for everyoneto see, but not everyone can see it. But it’s right there, because Kobe Bryantsaw it. We live in a world were media are a big part in athletes’ life and  everyone has to deal with them. Even guys thatlooks shy when they enter the league, in any sports, learn to play it cool whenthe spotlight is on them. Rondo never really learned it. He said more than oncethat he doesn’t like the spotlight, that someone else can have it. And you cantell he’s not lying. Rondo is not just an athlete, he’s an artist. And when youare in front of an artist, you can’t just watch him, or talk to him like youwould talk to any other person. You have to understand him, or you will alwaysmiss something about him.

His mind is another aspect of him that sets him apart.

Another thing that impressed me once again readingRondo interview is his mind. It must be truly amazing to have the opportunityto talk to someone with such a brilliant mind, if he is willing to open up.  I often wonder how his mind work. I alreadysaid that sometimes, during games it looks like he sees something differentfrom other people, like the defense of the opposite team is moving followingsome unknown math formula that nobody else but him can solve and he’s waitingfor those numbers to be in the right position so that he can solve the problemand obtain the correct result.

I don’t know how a photographic memory works, but I’vewatch him closely many times, even when he’s sitting on the bench: his mindnever rests. When you see other players that are resting on the bench, you cantell that they’re watching the game, while when you look at Rondo, it seemslike he’s memorizing the game, taking picture with every blink of an eye. He’salways taking mental notes of what happens around him.

A mind like this must be very frustrating I think.I’ve seen many times people get mad at someone because the other personcouldn’t understand something. For someone like Rondo, must be like that mostof the time. As I once said, it’s like his mind is moving 40mph while otherpeople go at 20mph. You’re never free to go at your speed, or you will findyourself alone. Rondo’s genius and stubbornness are such at a high level thathe finds himself alone, or in very small company. KG  seems to understand him. As Rondo said, he’salways up when he text him at 4 am. I think KG won over Rondo.

We’ve read many times about coaches that struggled toget along with Rondo. Doug Bibby was the first, and at the beginning had areally hard time dealing with Rondo. The last year that Rondo played forEastern High School, they got along really well, though. With Rondo, it’s likeyou have to win him over. If you’re able to do that, you have found a loyalfriend and a great player who will do everything to help and is willing tocooperate. On the other end, if you can’t gain his trust and respect, he can makeyour life a living hell.

And as Rondo himself said, it’s not easy to gain his trust.And I feel like his lack of trust in other people incremented Rondo’sstubbornness even more. When you don’t trust otherpeople, you’re forced to grow up and create the basis of the person you’regoing to be, all by yourself. And when you go as far as Rondo went, all withyour abilities, it’s hard to accept other people opinion when it’s differentfrom your own. I’m not trying to justify Rondo, but I can understand that whenyou’re a guy with a strong personality that built himself on his own, it’s hardwhen someone comes by and tell you “you’re wrong”.

I think this is one of the main aspect in Rondo’stemper that Dooling is working on.

I remember reading a Dooling interview last year wherehe said that he was having a lot of late-night / early-morning phone calls withRondo during which they talked about past, present, and future; the man theywere, and the man they wanted to be. Dooling said that he didn’t know how manytimes in his life Rondo had the opportunity to had those conversations. Doolingis another guy who won over Rondo’s trust. And that’s why I wanted him backthis year. Dooling can be very important in Rondo’s development, both as aplayer and as a leader. As Paul wrote in his Rondology post of yesterday, Rondohas to find his own way to become the Celtics new leader for the future. He’snot gonna be the next bird or the next Paul Pierce. He’s gonna be Rondo.

And if he’s able to figure out his own way to be aleader, I can’t wait to see what the future of this franchise it’s gonna belike with him as our leader, because it’s gonna be great.


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Reply Greg
11:59 AM on February 25, 2013 
You say Rondo used the court to show his feelings. I believe that. When things got him down, he was fighting harder,and that's when things got the best of him,but when things were right. He was th best talent on the planet. I think u said it before,and Rondo showed in 2010 aganist Lebron,and last season. But he can hang with him,if not play better.
Reply Franklin
12:03 PM on February 25, 2013 
Beautiful post Paul. Very poetic,touching,and a personal touch to it. I think u seem to understand Rondo,more than any writer out there.
Reply Celticslifer
5:54 PM on February 25, 2013 
Dooling seems to have Rondo's ear ,and that's a good thing. I remember Rondo over at Doolings house just recently. I think Dooling will be big for Rondo next season, or help him at least.
Reply paul
10:29 PM on February 25, 2013 
Franklin - I am so honored that you thought I wrote this!! Morena wrote it - I think it's the best piece ever on Rondo!!
Reply shawn cassidy
2:07 AM on February 26, 2013 
Amazing job Morena! Franklin get some glasses.lol
Keep on posting. This is our site, and it's here for you to speak your mind.
Reply paul
7:53 AM on February 26, 2013 
right on, Shawn
Reply Morena
8:00 AM on February 26, 2013 
I want to thank you guys for the beautiful words. Your really touched me and made my day.
A special thanks goes to Paul for encouraging me to write this. I was kind of scared, honestly.
I'm really glad you liked this article.
Reply paul
8:40 AM on February 26, 2013 
Morena says...
I want to thank you guys for the beautiful words. Your really touched me and made my day.
A special thanks goes to Paul for encouraging me to write this. I was kind of scared, honestly.
I'm really glad you liked this article.

Thanks for writing it and publishing it, Morena. For me, it's the image of the snow that I find really affecting. When I think about how a snow day feels, the claustrophobia that one can feel even when it's snowing very gently and you are enjoying it, that strikes me as such a good symbol for how social isolation feels, how it feels to be someone who can't relate to other people as easily as most folks can- Rondo hiding behind his Cross Four. Why can't the Haters wake up and see that Rondo uses statistical achievements as a kind of crutch, maybe, too much, to that there's no way he's not a team player. No one loves team ball more than Rondo. Your reference to Dooling is so a propos. The picture emerging, in my opinion, is of a rather lonely person, who puts up a big front, who has quite a hard time relating to folks the way others do. I was imagining what it must be like to play with him, to have him constantly criticizing others for not being where they should have been and so on, constantly being a perfectionist. Basketball just isn't played that way, Rajon! It's not like football, where everything is controlled to the nth degree, and done just so.

It's not going to be easy for Rondo to come back. On one hand, he has the knee problem. On the other hand, he has a team where his leadership role hasn't just been lost; it's been forcefully repudiated. How does a player who is struggling to figure out how to lead anyway deal with that?

I just wish Rondo would tell Red Bull that they need to take a back seat for quite a while. I could believe in him a lot more if he would take that step.