The franchise star is a label that doesn't get thrown around too lightly.
One who is labeled as such is not just a great basketball player. He's a player that a team in rebuilding mode can stake its future on. He's also the player that a team hoping to win an NBA Title will lean most heavily on in an effort to get that cherished ring.
Every team has a best player, but not every best player is a franchise player.
Rondo is in fact a franchise star. He's by no means a conventional one, but nonetheless he is worthy of the title.
According to ESPN.com's NBA Player Rankings only 11 players are rated above Rondo, and of those 11, six of them—LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard—are on three teams.
That means that there are eight teams who have a player with more talent than Rajon Rondo.
Additionally, Rondo had the lowest per game scoring average of anyone in the top 20. A keen observer would have to go all the way down the list to the No. 34 ranked Zach Randolph to find a player with a lower per game scoring average.
That statistical anomaly may make Rondo the most unique franchise star in the history of the NBA.
Go back and look through the history books, or NBA websites for that matter. Try and find a franchise star that shoots the ball poorly and is not much of a consistent scoring threat.
Yet there he is, Rajon Rondo, a point guard who doesn't score a ton of points, but he sure does enough of everything else to validate his label as franchise star.
What other NBA player can tie defenses in knots without scoring a ton of points or even shooting the ball well?
In a perfect world Rondo would be a better scorer, and just because he's given the label "franchise player" doesn't mean he's as good as Kobe or LeBron, but it does mean that a team can build around him.
The Boston Celtics have watched as their former top players such as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have gotten older and become less effective and more injury prone. Allen even lost his role as a starter and then left as a free agent to play for the Miami Heat.
They seem just fine, thank you very much.
Rajon Rondo is the best player on the Boston Celtics, and the player the franchise is building around for the future.
Paul Pierce, the team's leading scorer,will be a free agent following the 2012-13 season. The Celtics are definitely staking the prospects of their franchise for the next three seasons on Rajon Rondo so they better hope he's more than just the best player on their team.
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