Without actually going back and counting, I'm going to guess that easily more than half of what has been discussed on this site this year has been Rajon Rondo and his penchant for, to use the popular term for it now, disengaging from the festivities on the court.
Everyone gets pissed off about it. Everyone screams at the TV begging for him to wake up. And afterwards, everyone comes flooding to this or other sites of choice and begins flogging the kid for it.
Well, for the first time time that I can remember, Doc has spoken at a little length about coaching Rondo. Jackie MacMullan sat down with him for ESPN's Sunday conversation, and this was their exchange about Rondo:
MacMullan: Rondo… you've done such a good job with this kid. He's so complicated, he thinks he's the best point guard in the league one day, and then half an hour later, he thinks he's the worst guy on the floor. Is he the most challenging one yet?
Doc: Oh yeah, yeah… but I love it. It's a process and a grind every day because he's so good, and he's so emotional. I think fans see him sometimes where he doesn't play hard… it's not because he's decided not to play hard. It's because he shut off because something has happened in the game and he's thinking about it. And his biggest thing every year now is how quickly he can get over the negative, and understand there's going to be negative in every game.
He's still only 26, and he's still learning. Rondo controls his emotions so much when meeting with the media, it's hard to see the real him behind the scenes. It's an interesting insight into why certain things are happening.
Now, of course, the challenge is to stop it from happening. Jackie's question almost tells me more about him than Doc's answer because it speaks to the internal battle he's having with himself. He's outwardly confident, but internally, he may be fighting to keep that confidence up.
Hey, the game of basketball is hard. And going out there in front of 19,000 people every night and millions of people watching at home… and failing… that's got to be a blow to your confidence. Hell, we all take hits to our own confidence at work or school when we fail at something.. and we don't have all those people watching us screw up.
It's all just so interesting when you think of these guys as human beings with one exceptional skill set rather than just characters on a court bouncing around your television. This one question and answer poured some much insight into this concoction that is the mercurial Rajon Rondo.
This is one complicated guy.
By the way, watch the whole video for Doc saying he thinks KG is coming back and how Pat Riley is such a huge influence on him.