There are better players in the history of the Boston Celtics, there is no question. But you can argue Rajon Rondo is one of the most exciting players to ever wear the green and white of Boston. Watch a highlight reel of most NBA players and they will be dominated by dunks and scores, watch a Rondo highlight reel and you will find a bit of everything, passing, shooting, stealing, crossovers and even a dunk or two. He is the jambalaya of highlights.
Reggie Lewis will probably never be replaced in my eyes as the Celtic I will always love the most. He was never the best, he was never going to be the best, but he was a hard working guy that was taken far too soon and his legacy is unfortunately filled with what could have been’s. On the other hand Larry Bird is arguably the best ever and he too had his career cut far to short, his by a bad back he earned laying a gravel driveway (find me a player today that lays gravel in the offseason.) Neither one of them have much in the way of jaw dropping highlights they were the kind of guys who played fundamental basketball to win. Rondo plays to win, but he does it with pop, God willing Rondo on the other hand is going to be with us for another 10 years making us hit the rewind button on our DVRs because he is just so damn “amazing.”
9. The English (Every Game) – Pool players do it all the time, but few in the NBA have the skill perfected. Rondo puts a spin when need on the ball that makes what seems to be a normal pass hang a left and go around a defender to his positioning target. If you have never seen it you will notice it nearly every game now.
8. Dunking over the Heat(2011 Opener) – Pausing at the top of the key Rondo waits for the play to develop and the lane to his left is open, pushing forward no Heatle has the poise to step in his path leaving a posterized Chris Bosh under the basket with his hands in his pocket.
7. Pushy-Pushy (Feb 2009 v Lakers) – Rondo does not care who you are, even if you are the greatest of the game do not get in his face. With the rival Lakers in Boston a loose balls falls in the middle of Kobe, Lamar and Rondo with Rondo pushing the golden boy of hoops right out of the mix with a nice shove. While not really a relevant play to the outcome of the game nothing energizes the Boston crowd like standing up to the Face of the Lakers.
6. Assist after assist and a triple double (24 Assists v NYK) – How is this so low you ask? This was a great game, but lets face it Rondo makes assists in his sleep. Tied for the most of all time he will break this record in a year or two.
5. Did that just happen? (2009 v Philly) – Playing in PA to an empty house Rondo tours the baseline with time expiring and floats a shot over a defender behind the backboard, up over and in the net.
4. Rondo takes his ball and heads home (June 2010 v Lakers) – Had the Celtics won the Finals I may have moved this higher. Kobe to Artest, fakes the 3, dishes to Fisher who dekes Rondo with a fake only to lose the actual ball when Rondo takes it out of his hands from behind.
3. Rondo drops the Dreamshake on Johnson (2007 v Raptors) – If you don’t know what the Dreamshake is the open a new window and youtube it. Hakeem Olajuwon made this famous in the 1980s, but for a 6 foot nothing guard to do this in the paint is unheard in terms of success. David Copperfield is still trying to perfect this slight of hand.
2. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (2010 Playoffs v Cavs) – Heading towards the hoop for an easy layup Rondo smells stench of Lebron on his tail and dishes behind the back to Tony Allen for one of the most amazing bind dishes in history. Legend has it that Magic Johnson cried himself to sleep with joy after watching this play 4 dozen times in postgame.
“1. The Steal (2010 v Magic) – Football has “the Catch”, hockey has “the Goal,” this will go down in history as “the Steal” and everyone will know what you mean when you say it. Jason Williams thinks he is grabbing a loose ball only to have Rondo slide in steal it stand up and lay up the hoop before Jason can find his feet again. You could not scrip this in a Hollywood film.