You know it’s been a disappointing season for the Boston Celtics when the biggest “news” to break in the month of February involved Rajon
Rondo‘s opting to remain in Los Angeles to celebrate his birthday instead of accompanying the team to Sacramento for a game he wasn’t even scheduled to play in the first place.
I don’t know how all of you responded to LA Gate, but I found it a tad over-blown, entirely the sort of thing that gives the media a bad name. Wake me when Rondo commits a crime; skipping out on a game he wasn’t even going to suit up for is the Celtics’ problem, to be handled internally, end of story.
I’m really not the sort of guy who makes apologies and excuses for athletes; in some ways, I’m the last guy you would think would have gravitated toward covering professional sports, since my dealings with athletes throughout my lifetime has been hit-or-miss, with plenty of misses. (Keep in mind I coach two sports and also follow youth hockey avidly.) I won’t sit here and tell you that Rondo should be allowed to break team rules, simply because he is the best player on the team . . .
. . . but on the other hand, the Boston Celtics knew what they were getting themselves into when they named Rondo team captain. The media knew what the Celtics were getting into when the Celtics named Rondo team captain. He made a decision that will cost him a little bit of money, but aside from that, it’s really not my concern.
What is my concern is how Rondo is playing out on the hardwood, and as it turns out, he’s playing well enough to suggest that his critics need to shut the <bleep> up.
So far this season, Rondo has played in 18 games, and is averaging 12.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game. Those numbers are not career-bests, but for someone who is still shaking off the rust following a torn ACL, they are not bad (and not too far off of his career averages). Furthermore, if you look at what Rondo is averaging per 36 minutes this season, you will see that he is averaging more defensive rebound and points per 36 minutes than he has ever averaged in his career. Finally, I feel compelled to point out that, in his first six games back, Rondo only scored in double figures once, and did not dish out more than 8 dimes in any of those games. Since then, he has scored in double digits in 10 of his last 12, and notched 10 or more assists in 9 of 12.
Not to mention his 11 points, 18 assists, and zero turnovers performance last night against the Detroit Pistons.
Rondo’s birthday party? Let it go.
Rondo is worse than 39 other point guards in the NBA? Now you’ve got to really shut the <radio edit> up.
It pains me to watch the Boston Celtics struggle this year, and I was a bit surprised (and as a writer, annoyed) by Boston’s lack of activity as the trade deadline approached, and then passed us by. And I understand our society – sensational news sells. But seriously – as a writer who follows sports, I’m more than happy to let Rondo’s play right now dictate what I write. If he has a terrible game, I’m on his case like a fat kid on cake. Otherwise, I’ll let the Celtics handle the behind-the-scenes stuff and enjoy what I’m seeing on the court.