The Globe's Chad Finn delivers an excellent column on the similarities between Rajon Rondo and Dennis Johnson.
While the two players have/had different games, they do have one trait in common – attitude:
And I'm not suggesting Rondo is DJ's peer as a Celtic, though I think it's someday possible provided this storm passes and Danny Ainge finds a way to reload the roster without losing a couple of seasons — and Rondo's interest — in pursuit of lottery ping-pong balls. I don't dish comparisons to DJ lightly; he is probably my favorite non-Larry Celtic of all time, depending upon which flashbacks I've seen on NBA TV recently. He's in the starting five for sure.
But it must be remembered that DJ was not a Celtic lifer. He built his career and his reputation — for better and worse — in Seattle and Phoenix before coming to Boston in what would be a heist of Lowe/Varitek-for-Slocumb proportions, arriving for Rick Robey in June 1983. There's a reason Johnson, the 1978-79 Finals MVP for the Sonics, a six-time first-team All-Defensive choice and four-time All-Star before he ever took the court for the Celtics, was available.
He was an incorrigible pain in the neck. And that's the watered-down DJ fanboy version.
Finn's premise is – if the Celtics move Rondo, they may come to regret it. A valid point.
But… would DJ have turned into a Hall of Famer had he not been shipped to Boston? Sometimes it takes a trade to slap sense into the player.
To all the card carrying members of the Rondo fan club – I'm not saying Rondo must be traded or that he needs sense slapped into him. I'm just throwing out discussion points.