Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Rondo belongs to an undefined and yet iconic group of players that are described in contradicting terms. He’s lauded as one of the league’s best point guards, but pointed to as not being as good as the Celtics have needed. He’s criticized for not being able to shoot or score enough, despite shooting 51 percent from 16 feet to the 3-point line last season, via Basketball Reference. He’s the team’s emotional leader, but a surly, snarky malcontent who has driven his coach to the ends of madness and allegedly helped drive Ray Allen to Miami.
Oddly, being surrounded by All-Stars and future Hall-of-Famers stopped protecting him years ago. Somehow Paul Pierce’s drift towards age and injury was cast aside under his leadership and the occasional brilliance. Kevin Garnett’s fading defensive ability and slow decline has been painted over with the words “leadership” and “intensity.” Rondo has been the best player on the Celtics for the past three years yet he’s often considered an after-thought, and is usually the souce of debate, not acclaim.
Matt Moore offers an interesting and accurate portrayal of Rajon Rondo’s reputation. [Amazing what a writer can do when he's not lobbing kerosene bombs on Twitter.]
The haters are always going to hate, but I have to believe fair-minded fans gained appreciation for Rondo’s importance while watching the Celtics offense
sputter collapse against the Knicks in the playoffs.
Moore finds symmetry with Rondo and Russell Westbrook:
In a lot of ways, you can see the same dynamic for Rondo in Oklahoma City, with a player who is never credited with the success, always questioned with the faults. They even bear the same disdain for the media and love playing the villain.
Rondo is Westbrook. Westbrook is Rondo. It’s somehow sadly fitting that both have to try and silence critics after a major trade coming off a severe injury.
Rondo has never been what we expect him to be. He went from coveted prospect to disappointing head case to All-Star point guard to maelstrom superstar. Maybe that’s the real reason to watch the Celtics next season, to find out how this post-apocalyptic, McCarthy’s-Road-esque tale ends.
Rondo and Westbrook. Two players much more popular among the national fan base than their local fan base.
As far as the ending to Moore’s post-apocalyptic tale, I’m anticipating a far less dramatic story next season.
Rondo will play and play well. The Celtics will be a middle-of-the-road team.
The rest of the links: