Why Is Rajon Rondo So Unloved?
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo leads the NBA in assists so far this season. No surprise there: he led the league in assists in 2011-12 and 2012-13. (He was second the season before.) He’s the best rebounding guard in the league–possibly the best rebounding point guard in NBA history. Do you remember the 2010 game 4 playoffs against the LeBron James Cavs 1.0 when Rondo had 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists? That’s a Magic Johnson-like line. He’s got a championship ring–and anybody who knows basketball knows it was the Big Four in Boston, not just the Big Three of Allen, Pierce and Garnett. He plays hurt, he plays hard. He plays D.
Yet Rondo is always the subject of trade rumors. Celtics president Danny Ainge has in the past implied that Rondo isn’t great in the locker room. Former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers did little to dispel those rumors. More recently Ainge’s tune has changed a bit. “I love Rondo,” Ainge said. “He’s a fun kid to be around. I’ve seen a lot of growth in him as a person and maturity through the years.” But that’s what you’d say about somebody you were trying to deal. Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck has called Rondo “super stubborn” saying “I don’t know how coachable he is.” Which could be true. There must be a lot of NBA coaches who get a little angry when their guys go for 29, 18 and 13 in a big playoff game–and routinely lead the league in assists. That’s uncoachable?