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.
That video is from an off-air discussion between Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who said “now that Kevin Love is traded, you know who’s next, your boy,” referring to Rajon Rondo. She responds with “I hope so” and “just get it done,” adding “he’s told them he wants out, and no one believes me, but that’s the truth.”
In the ensuing conversation, they discuss possible destinations, like Sacramento, but she says Rondo told the Kings he’d never re-sign there.
So there are a couple of sides to this:
Side 1: This is Jackie MacMullan, a well-respected journalist with good sources who is very knowledgeable. She’s not some idiot like Felger or Donny Marshall just pulling stuff out of their collective asses. Generally, when Jackie Mac says something like this, there’s something to back it up.
Side 2: This is an off-hand comment made as part of an off-air discussion. This wasn’t said during the show, nor was it put in a column of any sort. I think “Rondo wants out” is a hell of a headline. This seems like the type of thing that ESPN Boston would love to be trotting out and blaring through loudspeakers.
Side 1 rebuttal: Why be anything but honest in an off-air discussion? This is a conversation between colleagues, not some radio blather. She had no real reason to believe this would blow up. The video was posted 4 days ago on YouTube without any sort of promotion or mention. Why is it blowing up today?
Side 2 rebuttal: Maybe she didn’t want it promoted. This wasn’t the type of sourced material that goes into columns or something she says on the radio or TV. This is just casual conversation where people are known to embellish a couple of details of stories. You mean to tell me you haven’t told a story at a party or social gathering and made definitive statements about things you weren’t really that sure about? And when did he say this? Yesterday? Last month? Last year? She doesn’t say.
I’ll stop there before someone calls my shrink….
I think both arguments here have merit. Unlike the Jeff Goodman stuff, Jackie doesn’t a Tubby Smith-fueled history of trashing Rondo for the sake of trashing him.
But on the other side, it doesn’t match what I see. Rondo has spent a significant time in Boston this offseason. He’s said publicly in the past that he wants to stay. And even little things like helping the Celtics owners with ice bucket challenges… If a guy wants out, does he do these little things?
I know some people will scoff at that last line, but I’m trying to match actions to these reports. I’m looking at how Rondo has been acting and the things he’s been saying, and I hear these passing comments about him wanting out, and they don’t match. So one of two things are happening here: Rondo’s bullshitting us about his desire to stick through this and lead the team to another title, or the media is bullshitting us about these reports and is wrong. I’m not sure which is true anymore.
Regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong, I’d still bet money that Rondo isn’t traded this season. That still makes no sense for any party involved. If Rondo indeed wants out, he needs to play nice so whichever team he goes to feels like they’re getting a more mature leader. Other teams aren’t going to pony up any sort of real assets for a guy that could be a playoff-run rental, and the Celtics aren’t going to take back crap for Rondo when they can just take his cap space and move on. So I’m still betting there’s no trade to be had.
Which means we’re probably stuck with a season full of this. Even if Rondo and Danny Ainge both come out and say that’s a complete lie, it won’t change the minds of people whose minds are made up. This only ends when Rondo is traded or signs elsewhere, or when he re-signs in Boston.