Fun read on NBA.com about player quirks that some writers find annoying. Of course, Rajon Rondo made the list:
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Rajon Rondo letting an inbounded ball dribble and roll too long before picking it up and going. Don’t mean to pick on Rondo – he’s just one of many, including Ty Lawson, Kyrie Irving and a bunch of mostly point guards who have bought into this false economy. Sure, once in a while the ball is delivered in a way that it can be chaperoned for a few extra feet while keeping the game clock from starting. But often, it’s angled toward the sideline and losing its speed, so finally grabbing it and veering back on course eats up whatever seconds allegedly were saved. Meanwhile, it gives a defender an opportunity to pounce. It’s a Joe College move and the sort of false hustle/smarts that makes sliding into first base such a laughable MLB play.
Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: I hate it when Rajon Rondo hides his mouth-piece inside his jersey. It drives me crazy, because I can’t understand why he does it. Why have a mouth-piece if you don’t intend to keep it in you mouth at the first place!
Two quick rebuttals.
1) Whether it’s angled or not, the inbounded ball trick saves 1-2 seconds nearly every time it’s done because the lazy defenders allow it to work. Maybe we need an ESPN Sports Science experiment to make the final decision on its effectiveness.
2) As for the mouthpiece, even those custom-fitted ones are a pain in the ass. I don’t blame Rondo for taking it out every chance he gets. [video]