When people picture leaders, they often picture guys like Vince Lombardi or General George S. Patton. Guys who stand in front of men, reach deep into their souls, and deliver inspiration that makes their troops want to run through walls.
And while that is one example of a leader, true leadership happens in every day situations. It happens in one-on-one interactions where that person knows you're in charge and you have control of the situation. That's when that other person trusts you as a leader.
So when KG went to the floor Sunday after being shoved by Hedo Turkoglu, it was Rondo who displayed a great example of his leadership that we were lucky enough to catch on camera.
KG's antics have been a hot topic lately. He's been in the middle of a lot of stuff and it seems that his emotions have been running a little higher than usual… even for him. So when he hit the deck, it's not unfair to expect him to react… or maybe even retaliate.
Rajon knows this too. He's not blind. And he's also well aware of what the score is. This is a tight one. Marquis Daniels has already been taken out on a stretcher, there's no Shaq, and Kendrick Perkins had been having some trouble with Dwight Howard at this point. The last thing the Celtics needed was to give Orlando free points, or to lose Kevin Garnett. And with the Lakers and Heat coming up down the road… any sort of multiple-game suspension would be devastating.
So in comes Rondo right away… and not to pick KG up off the floor. Nope, the first thing he does is wave his hand in front of KG… telling him to "forget all that man." Then he not only reaches out to pick him up… but also give him a little dap on the way up. As he picks KG he stands there, between him and Turkoglu, looking KG in the eye the whole time.
The next we see them, KG's walking off with his arm around Rondo. KG's calm, and and the game moves on. Maybe KG never would have popped up or mouthed off… but Rondo made sure of it. The whole thing lasts about 10 seconds or so… but it's little 10 second moments like that that make a leader.
Rondo's not the leader of this team just because he can find Ray Allen in the corner after they both recognize Ray's guy went over the top of a screen. Rajon Rondo is in control of this team because the guys trust him… becase he has the ability to recognize situations and address them. It's how he handles himself and his interactions with these guys.
For 10 seconds, we got a little glimpse into how he does it… and with perhaps the most volatile personality on the team.