The NBA Gray Area: Rajon Rondo and Telling It Like It Is
Not that it needed any—here in the conference finals, there isn’t ever any need for additional firepower other than the desire to make it to the Finals—but when Rondo spoke with ESPN’s Doris Burke during the halftime interview of Boston’s Game 4 overtime victory, he added fuel to the flame.
After being asked how Boston was exploiting Miami, Rondo nonchalantly dissed the Heat, saying, “Them complaining and crying at the referees in transition.”
When the overtime affair was finished, Rondo was asked about his comments during the postgame interview. He stood by them, saying, "What I said was true. I don't take back what I said. It is what it is.”
That crazy point guard. While we’re used to seeing him dazzle us on the floor and confuse us off of it, we’re not used to many players having the bravado to lay it on the table and truly tell it like it is during a halftime interview. That’s the thing about Rondo; he doesn’t play the game.
The only game he’s playing is the one within the 94 feet of the basketball court. The rest of it doesn’t matter to him. He plays it straight, even if there are repercussions that could arise from that decision.
A lot of people will call Rondo arrogant, irresponsible or foolish to say what he did. While I can acknowledge that he might be inciting a Heat locker room that’s already plenty hungry for a victory back at home with the series tied at two games apiece, I loved what he did. In a league where so many guys are politically correct and, well, let’s be honest, boring as a result, I love when guys step outside of the box we’ve created for them and act like normal people.
What Rondo said on Sunday night is what every Celtics fan watching was thinking. It’s just that none of those fans expected their star point guard to say it out loud on national television.
That’s the beauty of Rondo. He’s entirely unpredictable and reckless in the right ways. He truly believes that firing up the Heat doesn’t matter because he’s speaking truth and also because he believes his team will win.
Similar to after Game 3 in Boston, when he told the media that the Celtics would come out in Game 4 and tie the series, his confidence is greater than his concern over whether his comments will anger his opponent.
This isn’t the wisest way to go about things, but dammit if it doesn’t make you respect his belief in his own abilities and the abilities of his teammates and coaching staff.
You always want a player who is fearless. Is there any wonder why the Celtics find it easy to follow Rondo? He believes, and through his belief, it’s easier for them to go wherever he plans on taking them.
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