When it rains, it pours, Boston Celtics fans.
It’s bad enough that the Boston Celtics lost their second-straight, tightly-contested battle to the Chicago Bulls 94-80 last night. But to lose Rajon Rondo to early retirement, due to his new-found love for broadcasting? That hurts, Celtics fans!
Let’s the scoop straight from the horse’s, I mean point guard’s, mouth:
I want to thank the entire Boston Celtics organization, as well as all of the fans, for supporting me during my professional basketball career. Playing basketball was all I ever wanted to do . . . until I started listening to Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn calling Celtics games during my rehab. From that point on, I knew where my real passion lie: in broadcast journalism. Sitting alongside Mike for the first half of last night’s game only proved what I had suspected: that as much as I love the game of basketball, it’s time to trade in my headband for a headset and begin calling games full time.
Tough break, Celtics fans . . . and April Fool’s!
If you tuned in last night to CSNNE’s broadcast of the Celtics – Bulls game, you already know that Rajon Rondo is not ready for primetime just yet. Was he painful to listen to last night? Not at all. I found his conversations with Mike Gorman to be enlightening, and felt that Rondo loosened up and became more comfortable with every minute that passed. He relied on the word, “Definitely,” a bit too often – but I’ll take that over “Umm” any day of the week. Until you have tried to do a live speech or broadcast, you have no idea how easy it is to repeat a phrase over and over, simply because it provides a comfort zone in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. All in all, I enjoyed hearing Rondo, and look forward to listening to him call games in the future . . . but only after he retires from the NBA, for real.
As for the Celtics-Bulls game itself, it was another case of “Watch how hard the Celtics compete, only to come up short in the end.” The fact that Rondo was unavailable, and that Avery Bradley left the game after aggravating his ankle, clearly hurt Boston late, as the team simply ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. Still, the Celtics had a lead going into the half, and were only down by one after three, thanks to the play of Jerryd Bayless and Brandon Bass, who each chipped in 18 points. Phil Pressey gave a great defensive effort, stealing the ball four times, and Kelly Olynyk was the only player to have a positive +/- ratio for Boston at +10. That’s actually kind of amazing, since he only scored 7 points, but there it is!
Like I said yesterday, these near-misses should not get Celtics fans down; rather, they should get you pumped up for next season. With two first-round picks in this year’s lottery, and with a key free agent acquisition or two, these never-say-die Celtics are in far better shape to make some noise next year than virtually any other lottery-bound NBA team. Be glad the games have been entertaining, and get ready for a wild summer!