Why Rajon Rondo Is Already the Greatest Celtics PG of All-Time
Is Rajon Rondo just being modest?
He certainly sounds that way based on his comments to ABS-CBN News (via Camille B. Naredo):
“It is kinda too early to place my mark on where I am in Celtic history as a point guard,” Rondo said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. “But hopefully, by the time I finish my career, I’d be the best to ever play for the Celtics.”
Sure, technically it's too soon to make especially bold proclamations about Rondo's historical legacy, but let's be honest.
He may not be the most accomplished point guard in Celtics history, but he's already its best.
Historians will decry such a statement, and they'll point to Bob Cousy when doing so. Cousy played for the Celtics from 1950 to 1963, winning six championships in the process (including five in a row). He won the MVP award in 1957 and was named to 10 All-NBA first teams.
But, apart from all his tangible accomplishments, Cousy was also a trail blazing star who showed just how flashy ball-handling and passing could be.
There's no question that when all is said and done, it will be hard for Rondo to top Cousy's legacy.
That doesn't mean he's not a better player, though. The majority of Cousy's career as a Celtic was in the 1950s for crying out loud. People were listening to Buddy Holly and dazzled by the non-stop entertainment that was the Hula Hoop.
And, the NBA was little more than a nacent antecedent of what it is today.
In some ways, Bob Cousy was the first Chris Paul, but that's only because he was playing against the 1950s' equivalent of Jannero Pargo every night.
The 26-year-old Rondo, however, has made his name during a veritable golden age for point guards. He's stood out despite competition from the likes of Paul, Steve Nash, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker.
That's quite a crowd.
He's hasn't just led the league in assists either. Rondo has emerged as one of the league's best perimeter defenders, taking on his elite peers and managing to contain them more often than not.
Guards of Celtics' generations past couldn't even imagine that kind of defense. It just wasn't part of the game's fiber.
Thanks to his distribution, defense, solid scoring ability and willingness to help out on the glass, Rondo's already a legitimate candidate for MVP consideration. Those are the same qualities that helped make Rondo and NBA champion and a triple-double threat on any given night.
Boston has had its share of star point guards, but it's never had a guy like this.
Would anyone actually take Jo Jo White or Dennis Johnson (in their respective primes) over Rondo?
The 6'1" floor general has only begun to make his mark on the Celtics. In that sense, yes, it's still too soon to make too many conclusions.
Skills aside, Rondo is also a natural leader. His work ethic and determination have set the tone for a Boston Celtics team that already had a couple of storied veterans in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
The fact that Rondo is only now coming into his prime shouldn't be held against him.
Instead, it should be a testament to how much he's already accomplished and an indicator of things to come. Even if you still think Rondo has something to prove, do you have any doubt he'll prove it?
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