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Rondo climbs Simmons’ Trade Value list

Chuck - Red's Army February 18, 2011 Uncategorized 14 Comments

Rajon Rondo ranks 13th in Bill Simmons's annual list of players with the most trade value. He's right behind Russell Westbrook:

Westbrook gets the edge only because he's still playing on his rookie contract ($9 million through next year). Meanwhile, Rondo may have replaced Gary Payton as the all-time Table Test guy: Has anyone in basketball history ever brought more things to the table and taken more stuff off the table? In Sunday's Miami win alone, he finished with a triple-double, demanded to cover LeBron and disrupted him for a couple of quarters … and in the last few minutes, Miami played 40 feet off him and dared him to win the game. In close games, Celtics fans are an emotional mess: We want Rondo to shoot, we don't want him to shoot, we don't know what the hell we want.

The enduring Rondo question: Does he get enough done in those first 44 minutes (routinely spectacular, consistently excellent) to offset the last four minutes (when his outside shooting, porous free throw shooting and fear of getting fouled become such major liabilities) and the strategic conundrums he inadvertently creates (like when smart teams leave Rondo alone and use his defender as a double-teamer/extra rebounder)? I honestly don't know the answer. I just know that, when he shoots the ball in a big spot, I want him to shoot it … but I'm always surprised when it goes in. That's why I couldn't nudge him past Westbrook or these next two guys.

That's fairly accurate and funny analysis of Rondo's game, although I'm not sold on the Gary Payton comparison. Maybe because I don't recall the early years of Payton's career.

As for other Celtics on the list: Paul Pierce is 17th and Kevin Garnett is 28th. Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis made honorable mention.

After the jump, Simmons' defense of KG.

Of course, you can't mention Kevin Garnett in a sports column anymore without mentioning how much everyone hates Kevin Garnett. Since joining the Celtics, he's slowly morphed into the least-liked superstar in the league, this generation's version of Rick Barry or Isiah Thomas. That's been devastating for me for two reasons: He plays for my favorite team, and more importantly, that Barry/Isiah spot was supposed to go to Kobe. How did this thing flip so fast? Every day, I get at least one e-mail from a reader wondering, "How can you root for Kevin Garnett?"

My answer: He's on my team. That's how. I would have loved Bill Laimbeer if he played for the Celtics. I would have loved Thurman Munson had he switched teams with Carlton Fisk in 1971. I would have loved Peyton Manning if he had been switched with Tom Brady in 2002. Your guys are your guys — as long as they're on your team, they become family the same way your annoying aunt, blowhard uncle or black-sheep cousin is family. I don't think KG called Charlie Villanueva a cancer patient, just a "f—— cancer." I don't think KG intentionally punched Channing Frye in the nuts, and even if he did, who cares? It's Channing Frye! I just know that Garnett plays for my team, always tries hard, cares about his teammates, doesn't care about his own stats, and if he happens to be a crazy person, then so be it. Remember, we live in a world in which Lakers fans cheered Sasha Vujacic and his hairnet … for years.

Besides, Garnett never changed … his circumstances changed. You knew him for years and years as the tortured soul stuck with lousy teammates in a small market watching his prime waste away, so you felt bad for him, and you either overlooked some of the crap he pulled (like when he punched out a scrub teammate named Rick Rickert) or didn't even know about it. Now he's in Year 4 starring for a signature contender, constantly appearing on national TV and being immersed in 24/7 sports coverage in which every foible is dissected Zapruder-style. Anyone who followed basketball could see this coming. The same thing that makes Garnett great (his intensity) also leads to casualties (everything else). Just know that if he played for your team, you would love this bald, blathering maniac just as much as Boston fans do. You would.

I'm starting to wonder if the "KG was always like this" defense is a cop-out. If no one really watched him play, night-in and night-out, then how do we know he was a prick? Are there any die-hard T-Wolves fans out there who can answer this question?

Cue the hate mail….

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  • Nora

    It not like the Celtics never saw him before he came to Boston. He used to get into it with Perk.

  • Nora

    You guys hate KG I guess. Things like this say say it loud and clear.

  • Classless

    Another crap blog by BigMck. KG didn’t start his career in 2008. Maybe you think so, but he’s been his crazy self since he was drafted. He scrapped with Perk in 2007 during the 18 game losing streak season. He used to taunt/irritate Peja on Sacremento when the Kings and Wolves were good. He got in a fistfight in Toronto (can’t remember who).
    Please stop with the lazy piling on of Garnett unless you decide to watch games prior to 2008.

  • jared

    I love what you guys do with this site. You let us swear, say things that are totally ridiculous, and post some great articles, opinions and tidbits.
    But this constant harping on KG and his attitude or whatever you want to call it, is kind of getting to me. I hate to say this, because I think hes a mega-douche, but I agree with B.S. — hes our guy. Also, his intensity is a defining part of who he is. The bad you get from KG compared to the good is like a pebble in the ocean.

  • KY Celts fan

    wonder why Bill Simmons didn’t include Ray on his list anywhere. If he could give honorable mentions to Perk and even Baby, he couldn’t at least lump Ray in with someone else. Does this mean that Simmons thinks Ray is trade-bait?

  • paul

    If there is a copout, it’s from you. How could you possibly have JUST NOW noticed that Garnett is a douche, assuming he is one, just for the sake of argument? Or have you been burning his ass on this issue for years? Unless you’ve been beating this drum for the past several years, or you just somehow woke up via some mystical revelation, then the ONLY reasons you are making an issue of it is because it is controversial, so it’s good for business, and because your fellow bloggers nationally are pumping it for the same reason, and because they want to break down the Celtics, and you are jumping on the bandwagon.
    Pathetic and disgusting is such a mild way of describing this whole Beat the Shit Out of Kevin Garnett phenomenon. I’d be shocked if I hadn’t been around the internet enough to know what 90% of bloggers are like. They are spineless, self-promoting groupthinkers, jellyfishlike, well … ya know, kinda douche-like.

  • paul

    This is just one more non-issue you are trying to pump up into an ‘issue’, along with your fellow bloggers and commentators and assorted bullshit artists. And I guess ultimately we readers are at fault if we continue to visit your hateful site to read your hateful drivel.
    It’s up to us to drown you in indifference.

  • KY Celts fan

    Man, people have some thin skin when it comes to KG. Chill out, folks.

  • jared

    He helped bring us a championship and reinvigorated our beloved Celtic tradition.
    So yeah, maybe we are a little touchy on the subject. You back your own, plain and simple.

  • CFH

    I read an unsubstantiated claim on the internet that KG never scuffles with anyone his own size, so despite the footage of him getting into it with Duncan, that must be true.
    I read an unsubstantiated claim on on the internet that KG called Charlie V a cancer patient, so even though Charlie has no credibility and Doc backed KG up, I know KG must have done it.
    I read an unsubstantiated claim on on the internet that the only reason KG wasn’t suspended for the Frye thing is that the Celtics had a big televised game coming up; so even though I saw KG suspended in the playoffs last year, I know that must be true.
    I read an unsubstantiated claim on on the internet that the cobra/barking thing was new when KG came to Boston, so despite the pics of him doing it in a Wolves uniform, that must be true, too.
    Yay me! I’m finally up to speed with the KG hate!

  • Nora

    This is what should be said about every article after maybe the 5th one bashing KG. It is going overboard. This is at least 7 or 8th one here. ENOUGH!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    Wow. You all make me want to slam my head into a wall.
    First of all, I thought you would appreciate a post in which a prominent sports writer defends Garnett.
    I don’t believe I’ve ever criticized KG’s antics. Not until this season… where I believe he’s crossed the line on a few occasions. The reason I’m blogging about it… is because I’ve noticed a difference in the behavior. KG seems extra pissed off. Not because I’m noticing it for the first time.
    And Paul – I don’t make an issue out of anything because “its good for business.” I have the balls to share my opinion… no matter how unpopular it may be.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/norag79 Nora

    Suggestion: Don’t write about it so often no matter who else is doing it.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/antbar0100 Goceltics

    I love KG,some of the things he does makes me scratch my head. He is very unpredictable. I wish I would have watched him with the T Wolves,That way I could have a better perspective. He really wants to win,That I do know. It would be great to get some insight from some T Wolves fans. KG, himself is a mystery. He is quite the specimen to study. LOL. Rock on C`s fans.