I'm going to take a little page out of the Bill Simmons book and use some movie quotes to describe Rajon Rondo.
Chuckie: Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way but, in 20 years if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house, watchin' the Patriots games, workin' construction, I'll f@$#%@' kill ya. That's not a threat, that's a fact; I'll f@$#%@' kill ya.
Will: What the f#$% you talkin' about?
Chuckie: You got somethin' none of us have.
In the movie, Will was maybe the smartest guy in the world. Yet he was still struggling to find his way, working janitor jobs and generally afraid to separate himself from the world he knows and the people he grew up with. His friends see him and know he is wasting that talent, and that his life is worthwhile as it is, but Will is capable of much, much more. Staying in Boston, sweeping floors and kicking the crap out of townies is enough for Will's friends, but they know Will can achieve greater.
Rondo may not be the smartest guy in the world, but he is among the fastest and most athletic. Right now, he is beginning to utilize his unique talents, but he can still do a lot more. Even watching him average nearly a triple-double in the playoffs this year, I couldn't help but watch and think that Rajon Rondo is barely scratching the surface of his potential.
It's scary that Rondo can do some of the things he's doing and, as a spectator, you can still watch and want more. He has an unbelievable combination of speed, quickness, body control, leaping ability and quick hands. With the package of skills he possesses, he could spend the rest of his career doing what he's doing now and be an extremely productive player.
If he wants to get better, though, and truly become one of the premier point guards in the NBA, he needs to work on a reliable jump shot. He will never need to be deadly accurate from long range, but if he can increase his range like Tony Parker has done he will instantly become one of the top point guards in the league.
Will: I didn't ask for this.
Sean: No, you were born with it. So don't cop out behind "I didn't ask for this."
This summer, Rondo needs to take the next step. Being born with that talent, he has the burden of fulfilling his potential. Rondo needs to use this past season's disappointments to fuel him to reaching the next level as a player.
I would love to see Rondo decline the U.S.A. Men's Basketball Select Team's invitation to go to training camp. Participating in training camp would be neat and would allow Rajon to compete daily with the best players in the world, but he doesn't need any more competition.
He needs to get into a gym, by himself, all summer, and shoot jump-shots. This kid is devastating enough as it is on defenses. With a summer of strictly jump-shooting, he would be absolutely scary come next year. I would like to see him spend the summer at the Celtics' training facilities with Ray Allen, honing his jump-shot and rounding out the holes in his game.
Sean: It's not your fault.
Will: I know.
Sean: No you don't. It's not your fault.
Will: I know.
Sean: No. Listen to me son. It's not your fault.
Will: I know that.
Sean: It's not your fault. It's not your fault.
It isn't Rajon's fault that the Celtics lost the Magic series. Without him, the Celtics wouldn't have even gotten by the Bulls in the first round. He gave the points, assists, and rebounds, all while still being a pure point guard and managing the team. My criticisms of Rondo's game are only because I feel that he has the ability to be an all-time great; I expect more out of him sometime in the future.
For now, though, I can live with the Rondo we saw this year. At times, he was able to put the Celts on his skinny, broad shoulders and carry them to victory. In the future, with a few improvements, I see him being the type of player who can bring those type of efforts night in and night out.
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