The offseason left a lot of people wondering, what is up with Rajon Rondo? Initially, Jerry Colangelo conveniently forgot to invite Rondo to USA Basketball, which plays international competitions, and frankly Rondo just didn't give a damn.
The Celtics were ecstatic about the perceived snub because their young point guard logged heavy minutes during the season.
This left many people thinking that Colangelo had a personal vendetta against Rondo. The media jumped on the opportunity to sniff out the reasons this happened. After all, Rondo is considered in the Top 10 or top five—depending on what day of the week it is—at his position. He is also the only one with a championship ring.
Yet the flash and dash of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and now the inestimable John Wall have made him an afterthought. Celtic fans may rail about this comment, but it is true.
We all know how Rondo walked away from USA Basketball, and the media hounds pounced on the opportunity to doubt his game even further. As the world games concluded, little snippets of how Rondo would constantly question Mike Krzyzewski were leaked. Some of the players even admitted afterward that Rondo had the best basketball IQ that they have ever seen.
This may have possibly been one of the reasons that Rondo sensed that his days on the team were numbered. Besides that, he didn't come to the team because he wanted to. His agent pressured him, telling him it would only help increase his financial worth. Family issues and his increasing displeasure with being talked into trying out forced his hand.
I will dare say that the other players did not want him there, either.
The prevailing sentiment there is that he is only as good as the "Big Three" can carry him. Yet he is the one who is prolonging their careers and allowing them to be who we thought they were.
Boston's elder statesmen had newfound appreciation for his inestimable skills when Rondo missed a few games with a hamstring injury. They saw how the offense bogged down without their diminutive point man.
Rajon has the same passing instincts as Steve Nash; he can find impossible angles to feed his teammates for easy shots. This is even more evident in the way he gets the ball to Paul Pierce for at least six of his 20 PPG. It hasn't mattered who the Celtics have played, he gets it done and now his patented alley-oop to Kevin Garnett has returned.
As the season has progressed, he has outplayed every point guard and, most importantly, has had more assists than the opposing team's total.
Case in point: Amar'e Stoudemire's mercurial rise to All-Star status in Phoenix with Nash running the point. Fast forward to this season, and Stoudemire is getting his numbers in New York, but he is finding it difficult to get the same looks without Nash.
Rondo may never have a consistent jump shot or a high free-throw percentage, but he makes up for it with pure basketball instincts that can't be taught.
He is shattering team and NBA assist records and, at the time of this writing, he is averaging a staggering 14 assists a game. No other top point guard is as consistent as Rondo at that mark.
You can say what you want about what he can’t do, but more often than not his team always wins.