When Rajon Rondo broached the subject of adding a D-League stint into his rehab, he was setting himself up to make basketball history.
His first opportunity to put that plan in practice reportedly came on Tuesday, via Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Although he passed on that chance to suit up for the Maine Red Claws, he may have made history anyways.
I'm not sure there has ever been a "DNP—Nightmare" before:
Rondo on D-league earlier this week. "Just changed my mind. Didn't want to do it. Had a bad dream."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 10, 2014
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said there was a little more to it than that.
"The initial decision, we were told, was that he would play (Tuesday)," Ainge said, via Murphy. "But the (Celtics) had a great practice in Denver (on Monday) and I guess he wanted to stay with the team after that."
Seeing D-League Rondo would have been a blast. If triple-doubles aren't too much to ask at the NBA level, could he have gone quintuple-double for the Red Claws?
But let's be honest. I think we'd all rather get a look at the Boston Celtics' Rondo. The one we haven't seen since he suffered a torn ACL in January 2013.
Luckily, it sounds like there could be an NBA sighting of the four-time All-Star sometime in the near future:
Rondo says he'll be back before the All Star Break.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 10, 2014
This isn't quite a specific timetable, but given the player, it's about as close as it gets. It's not that he wants to maintain his mercurial status, it's simply that he doesn't know when his body will let him get back on the hardwood:
When asked when he'll know that he'll be ready, Rajon Rondo said he'll probably just wake up one morning and play.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 10, 2014
Trust me, he's waiting for that signal.
The Celtics (13-23) haven't completely bottomed out without him. Having any sort of pulse is more than enough to compete in the Atlantic Division.
Plus, his BFF Brad Stevens is doing just fine with his transition from the college to the pro game. The pair has clicked since summer, and each has to be itching to see what he can do with the other.
It seems like Rondo's just an "Aha!" moment away from his return. A moment that apparently might come while the rest of us are sleeping.