It’s not often that an NBA Champion Point Guard, 3x NBA All-Star and 2x NBA All-Defensive Team basketball player interns at your office. But during this summer’s off season, the Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo took his working hours to a new office – the GQ Magazine office.
Serious question: How many of you actually pay attention to what a point guard does once his team wins the opening tip-off battle? Probably none. Lucky for us, – thanks to Deadspin for finding this – there’s a die hard Celtics fan out there who put together a 4-minute video of Rajon Rondo’s tip-off antics. The crazy thing is, he never does the same thing twice. Either I’m bored, or this is just a remarkable find. Enjoy!
Yes, maybe I am still a little bitter after Florida’s own Austin Rivers — the son of Boston Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers — chose to surpass on being a Gator to become a Dookie. Can’t say I blame him, maybe the kid wanted a change of scenery for once in his life. But the more Bradley Beal plays the way he does, the easier it becomes to move on.
Like Beal, Rivers is more than likely a one-and-done player once his freshman season came to an end. And thanks to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, multiple sources have stated that is exactly what’s going to happen. Despite being upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Lehigh after a 19-point effort from the kid nicknamed “Sub-Zero,” Rivers still managed to average 15.5 points and 2.1 assists this season under Coach K.
Money really isn’t the issue for Austin so he could stay another year if he wanted to improve on his consistency, but most mock drafts have him going to Portland with the 11th pick. (At least the ones I saw) Still, nothing is set in stone until the words come from Austin’s mouth himself so in the meantime, Duke fans, enjoy Rivers while you have him because he could be gone quicker than he entered.
I’m going to be honest: Entering this season and given his age (36), I was not expecting Ray Allen to put up the numbers he has thus far in 2012. Why I didn’t believe he would? I don’t know. It was stupid of me because Ray-Ray is one of the most gifted players ever and even at the age he is now, he still runs circles around the young fellas.
Although his scoring is down from the 16+ he averaged the last two seasons — he’s also taking less shots — but Allen is still averaging 14.8 points per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor and an astounding 46.5 percent from 3s. (Which is 3rd in the league)
You have to wonder exactly how Allen still does the things that he does so well consistently because, and I’ll say it again, the man is 36 years old. At this point in his career, the success he’s having this season has nothing to do with whether or not he’s putting up more shots in practice. He’s done all that. (He’s still at the gym 4 hours before anyone else arrives)
So what could it be? Well, how about his sneaker size?
“My feet were always hurting,” he told Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com. “I was at shootaround in Detroit two years ago, I was running through it, and when I got back to the bus, it was just like the shoes, my orthotics — I called over to Nike and said, ‘The next shoe allotment, send it to me in 15s.’ I’ve been a 15 ever since.”
Going from a size 13 to a 15 is a huge difference when it comes to shoes. I remember for the longest time when I was younger I believed I was a 10 1/2 but in reality, I’m only an 8. Sometimes the craziest sounding things make the most sense. And this I believe because two years ago Ray was shooting 36.3 percent from 3s, now he hasn’t hit below 40 ever since.
He’s the career-leader in three pointers made and the best shooter in NBA history. I expect Allen to keep doing this until he’s at least 40, depending on if his shoe sizes keep going up.
Rondo continues to show why he’s the best passer in the league. Wow ..
I’ve defended Rondo constantly, but there’s nothing for me to argue about this one. Up by 2 with 14 seconds left, the Celtics come up with a steal and pass to Rondo, who is passed half-court, who ends up horribly missing a wide-open layup that would put Boston up by four and never have to go into OT with Houston. I don’t know if he thought his shot was going to get blocked or what but you can tell that he played it way too fast. It wasn’t even a lay-up, it looked like he just tossed it up there in a hurry. Those are the kind of blunders that make us forget about his 18, 17 and 20 performance against New York just 4 days ago.
It might look like it is, but it’s certainly not easy being a point guard for three future Hall of Fame players. Ask Rajon Rondo. The 26-year-old had the game of his life on Sunday against the Knicks in Boston. With a 115-111 OT win behind an historical performance, Rondo’s ending stat line looked like this: 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds.
Think about that – That’s your point guard putting up Oscar Robertson-like numbers, despite being the headline of most trade rumors for much of the season and dealing with nagging ticky-tack injuries. Double-R’s been in the league 6 years now and has a handful of accolades in his young career (NBA champion, 3x NBA All-Star, 2x All-Defensive First Team and All-Defensive Second Team); yet, Rondo remains of the most head scratching figures in the league, along with one of the most overrated according to fans and a handful of media personnel.
How can a kid who’s a walking triple-double and a Top 5 point guard in the league be overrated? Well, despite his averaging of 14.9 points (47 percent from the floor) and 10.5 assists per game this year, Rondo’s moodiness is what hurts him and keeps him out of most “The best point guard in the league” conversations. His Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde personality even has Celtics management wondering if this is the guy they can build their future around once Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett — and possibly head coach Doc Rivers — are gone.
Could he put up those kind of numbers if he was on a team like, let’s say, Charlotte?
If you asked me that question two years ago, I’d probably say no. But now? Absolutely. There’s no doubt in my mind. He’s just that good. He understands the game and the way it’s played and doesn’t rush. He’ll wait for his guys to get where they need to be on the court before he makes any kind of decision. He makes sure that his teammates have the best possible shot at producing on the court. If anything, at this point in his career, his game is being slowed down by the aging Big 3.
There’s no question he has the ability to be the guy that runs around the court trying to setup teammates (i.e. Steve Nash), but with his speed and vision, he’d certainly thrive in an up-tempo offense (Imagine if he was dealt to Oklahoma City in exchange for Russell Westbrook).
Rondo brings a rare, unique skill set to the table and does things other players can only dream of. He’s in a class of his own when it comes to the way he stretches his body and bends around opposing players while in mid-air (Some believe he’s from Moron Mountain). His speed with the ball and ability to stop on a dime are qualities that aren’t taught in the gym. That’s God-given. His court vision and knowing where his teammate will be before he gets there is the best in the league. Hands down. No one, not even Deron Williams or Chris Paul, is a better passer than Rondo. And just to pad the stats a little bit more, his basketball IQ is through the roof.
Someone with those kinds of abilities should be far, far away from overrated conversations, and should not be questioned on whether or not he’s a player you can build around. Right now, Rondo’s only competition is himself. There’s no reason he should think he knows more than his coach — who was a former point guard in the NBA — and players who have nearly a decade of experience over him. Those are the kind of people most players would be dying to get advice from or be taken under their wing. Rajon needs to look in the mirror and realize what he has around him because they’re only people who want him to succeed, who want him to become the best he possibly can be.
When Garnett first came to Boston, the Big 3, along with Doc Rivers, doubted Rondo’s ability on whether he could lead this team to an NBA championship. He was the right phone call away from being dealt but he showed that he was more than capable to lead an NBA offense to the Promise Land. It’s like KG said: “He’s a “I’ll show you” type of player.” Which means it’s almost as if Rondo needs to hear something negative about him in order for him to go out and perform as if he were an untouchable player. And because of that, he’ll forever have the wonders and doubts of others floating over his head until he learns how to perform like that on a nightly basis.
In his defense, he’s only 26. Practically a kid in the game that’s still learning to color inside the lines. Consistency is the most important word in basketball. And if Rondo wants to retire in Boston and lead another young Celtics team to a title somewhere in the future, he’ll need to throw ego and all aside in order to understand that whatever team he’s on needs him at his best. Always.
Nothing is given in this world, only taken.
And for Rondo’s sake, I hope he fights hard as hell to keep what’s his: The keys to run Boston.
Classic post-game KG interview! In a span of 1 minute and 23 seconds, KG:
- referenced the game to a bar fight
- brought up Charles Barkley’s alcoholic past
- shouted out Ray Allen’s 7-12 lb. new born baby
- told Craig Sager he looked good tonight, dog
Not all good things stay together, or great for that matter. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won 6 NBA championships during their partnership (could have been 8 had he not retired twice and left basketball for a mind-boggling baseball decision), as well as Kobe and Shaq winning 3 rings together as a duo in Los Angeles. And now, sadly, those kind of conversations are now starting to include arguably the best, and youngest duo in the league: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
They’ve been best friends since the beginning, they’ve been All-Stars together and they’re both the go-to guys on the Oklahoma City Thunder (although the word “go-to” should only describe Durant in crunch-time, not Westbrook. He’s a point-guard.), but there’s something in the middle. Something that just isn’t quite right, and that’s Westbrook.
I’m not saying that Russ was a bad fit from the start, I’m saying that he’s slowly grown into that category the last two seasons. He’s never been a great shooter, 3-point shooter and ball handler for that matter, and that’s coming back to his UCLA days. He’s a shooting-guard playing a point-guard role in OKC (which doesn’t end well when you have a franchise player in Durant who averages nearly 30 points a night).
Remember a guy by the name of Allen Iverson? He’s a Hall of Fame player and the best that ever played the game under 6-foot, but he was forced to play the point guard role throughout his career when he couldn’t. He’s naturally a shooter. That’s why teams gave him a bad reputation that he’s a ball-hog and won’t help your team win a championship because he’ll always need it in his hands. It’s an addiction.
During the ’08-09 season, Westbrook averaged 14 shots a night (41.8 percent) for 16 points, 8 assists and 3.3 turnovers. In 2010-11, he averaged 21.9 points (17 shots, 44 percent), 8 assists and 3.9 turnovers. This season? 15.3 points (17 shots, 31 percent), 6 assists and 6 turnovers.
For a point guard, that’s not a good look.
As for shots, he should be somewhere between the 9 and 11 range while shooting in the high 40s from the field. Prior to this season, his 8 assists were excellent but they could a tad higher (10?), but his turnovers are atrocious. Westbrook has been so focused on scoring the basketball for so long in his life that for the most part, his decision making is where it should be. Where it needs to be is a whole ‘nother story. He needs to slow the pace down and make smarter passes, take smarter shots, ect. if he plans on manning the ship for the Thunder.
They’re built to play that way.
When trade rumors arose during the lockout that a possible trade between OKC and the Boston Celtics could take place — with Boston trading Rajon Rondo to Oklahoma City while the Celtics received Westbrook in return — most said it was crazy, but the truth is, having Rondo control the Thunder’ offense would take them to a championship a lot quicker than it will with Westbrook.
When the “Argument Heard Around The World” went viral Wednesday night — detailed by The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry — where Westbrook was overheard yelling at Thabo Sefolosha for passing up an open shot and when Durant tried to calm him down, Westbrook snapped at Durant (Something to make a report about, and talk about it for 24 hours on ESPN? No, not at all. It happens, teammates argue all the time. Friends, family, whatever, arguments happen).
24 hours later, ESPN beat writer J.A. Adande wrote an interesting piece on why Westbrook won’t work in OKC for not only the long-run, but financially as well:
The Rose Rule already bumped Durant’s paycheck by an extra $2.5 million a year, and Westbrook could be living in that same $18 million-a-season neighborhood. Depending on what other moves the Thunder make, a huge boost to Westbrook’s salary could put Oklahoma City in luxury tax territory next season and beyond. Starting in 2013-14 the tax will be progressively more punitive than the simple dollar-for-dollar surcharge in place now, and there are additional penalties for repeat tax “offenders.” In addition tax teams have restrictions on their abilities to make trades and sign players to the full mid-level exception.
To sum it up, Adande is stating that by the Thunder locking up Westbrook to a huge deal will ultimately hurt them in the long run when it comes to re-signing other key attributes and going after other appealing talent in free agency. One thing, though, that was really brought to my attention (it’s actually the reason why I’m writing this in the first place) is when J.A. threw out a trade idea that would send Westbrook to Golden State in exchange for Steph Curry (very interesting):
Curry is still on his rookie contract through 2012-13 (when he’ll make $4 million) so he would almost guarantee the Thunder stay below the tax threshold for another year, and he probably won’t be eligible for the Rose Rule pay boost, which would keep his maximum salary 5 percent lower than what Westbrook’s might be when it’s time to re-sign him.
Curry would also give the Thunder more scoring punch from the starting 2-guard spot than they currently have from Sefolosha. From Golden State’s perspective, Westbrook is a better defender than Curry, and that should count a lot for the new-look Warriors. (Believe it or not, Mark Jackson’s squad is among the top 10 defenses for fewest opponent points allowed so far.) And Westbrook is more likely to cause sprained ankles than suffer as many as Curry has.
Interesting enough, Curry was a fan favorite in OKC during the ’09 NBA Draft when the volume shooter was coming out of Davidson (many wanted him over James Harden). Although it’s an intriguing idea, Adande failed to mention one thing: Monta Ellis.
Trading Ellis for Westbrook makes a lot more sense for Golden State than it does by shipping Curry out the door, but it’s almost an identical swap. On paper it seems that Westbrook would help the Warriors out more than Ellis already does, but it’s somewhat misleading.
Golden State would still have the same problems defensively that they do now, and they’d still have the same turnover issues that Ellis provides and the out-of-control shooting outbursts throughout the night.
This what happens when you put a shooter at a facilitators position.
Lets say for a minute that Westbrook does end up in Golden State at some point between this season and the next (this isn’t a rumor, this is just a discussion), what’s the guarantee that he would automatically turn into a facilitator on a team built for running? As for Curry, yes, he’s had issues with his ankle, but at the end of the day he has the higher basketball IQ, and that includes his shooting, passing skills, and the ability to spread the floor substantially better than Russ.
If the Warriors are in a “win now” situation — which I don’t believe they are since they just hired a brand new coach in Mark Jackson — and if the front office believes Curry is going to be an injury-prone player from here on out, I could see them offering this kind of trade. Other than that, no. It doesn’t make enough sense because at this point I’d rather pay Curry $3 million less to run my offense like a point guard should, than pay Westbrook $3 million more to run it like a shooter.
Above (from l-r): Carmelo Anthony wore his Jordan Melo M8 Christmas Day kicks in a win against the C’s, Chris Paul wore his Jordan CP3.V XMas day kicks in his debut with the Clippers, and D-Wade rocked his Jordan Fly Wade 2 XMas day kicks in the Heat’s blowout over the Mavericks.
Below (from l-r): KD rocked the Nike Zoom KD IV “Coppers” against the Magic, LeBron put on the XMas Day LeBron 9′s, Kobe laced up Nike Zoom Kobe VII “Cheetahs” in a loss against the Bulls, and Amare wore his special XMas colored Air Max Sweep Thrus.
All of the shoes are in stores now!