As I’m sure we’ve all seen by now, Rajon Rondo started a little scuffle last night when the Boston Celtics were playing the Brooklyn Nets. After all of the dust settled, Kris Humprhies, Gerald Wallace and Kevin Garnett were all given technical fouls. Rondo was ejected himself along with Wallace and Humprhies for having two technical fouls.
Some of you may not have heard by now, but Rondo has been given a two game suspension by the NBA. He talked with the league office a few hours before practice started for today. This is considered a slap on the wrist by some because of Rondo’s specific involvement in the incident and how far that it actually got before Reggie Evans and Paul Pierce diffused the situation.
There are some who think that Rondo should’ve been suspended for 10+ games because the scuffle ended up reaching the stands. Some think that there wasn’t enough of an incident to really warrant a suspension. With either side that you’re on, you have to admit that Rondo needs to work on managing his emotions during games–maybe even period.
I respect Rajon for standing up for his teammates and I fully appreciate his passion but he obviously needs to tone things down a notch. This is the third time in a calender year–not an NBA year, but a calender year–that he’s been suspended.
He was suspended right before the All-Star game for throwing the ball at an official after an arguable call and he was also suspended in the postseason last year for making contact with a game official.
This is obviously an issue that needs to be handled. Rondo has to recognize his importance to the Celtics–he’s the fulcrum that makes them go. I hate to use old cliches, but when he plays well so does the team. In a way, he may be the most valuable player to his team in the league. His importance cannot be understated.
With this suspension, Boston doesn’t have a backup point guard to replace Rondo with–let alone do everything that he brings to the table. 12.9 assists per game are hard to replace. That leads the league by far and it would be even higher if he didn’t finish his game yesterday with only three assists.
This brings the question to some, how much of a superstar player is Rondo? We all know about his gaudy stat lines and perpetual thirst for assists, but some beg to question how far that can actually take you. Is that shaky jump shot worth that equally unstable temper that Rondo showcases from time to time?
Rondo’s jumper is looking better than it has throughout his career as he’s making 50% of his shots from 16-23 feet, per hoopdata.com, and he’s also taking 3.5 of those per game. Those are both career high numbers for him, but he’s still only averaging 12.9 points per game and only has an offensive rating of 111.
While on paper, a majority of Rondo’s stats seem unimpressive up front, but when you look and see what he does for this Celtics team you’ll see that he has value that goes beyond stats. The number of things that he does that don’t show up on the stat sheet range from his pinpoint passes and his ability to direct traffic without having the ball all the way to his crafty ball fakes and his awkward but uncanny ability to make the strangest heady plays.
All of what he does brings value to the Boston Celtics and the bottom line is that he’s now their best player. He rejuvenated the careers of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and even the departed Ray Allen. His value goes far deeper than what lies on the surface and his temper can somewhat get away with that. He’s one of the most unique players in NBA history and his temper goes along with that.
Sometimes organizations have to take the good with the bad and that’s what the Celtics will do here with Rondo.