Rajon Rondo thinks he's the best at what he does.
"I think I am one of the best playmakers in the league. I think I'm the best point guard in the league."
However, I take no issue in him saying he is the best.
Having confidence is often skewed as cockiness by the American media. We like to keep the figurative "best" title only for certain athletes.
Remember when Eli Manning said that he was on the same level as Tom Brady and basically everyone jumped on his back?
There were responses like, "Are you kidding me Eli? Brady has won three Super Bowls and you have only one!"
What do you expect him to say? That he is inferior to these players?
When you play on a competitive level, you need to believe you are the best. There really is no reason for athletes to concede that they are not as skilled as their competitors.
This isn't like an unknown backup saying he is the best. Rondo exploded on the playoff stage once more, averaging 17.3 points, 11.9 assists and 6.7 rebounds.
He has the right to make such a claim, without receiving a firestorm of criticism. Whether or not you believe that Rondo is the best point guard is irrelevant.
I would want my team's franchise player to say he is the best because it exudes confidence. Confidence allows teams to sometimes beat opponents that no one thought possible.
It worked for Namath. It worked for Eli, after he beat Brady for a second Super Bowl victory.
It might even work for the Celtics point guard, as he chases NBA title No. 2.