On Sunday, he unfurled a pretty good one: With a beautiful wrap-around dish to Kris Humphries early in Boston’s afternoon tilt with the Dallas Mavericks, Rondo registered his 4,000th career assist, making him the 105th player in NBA history to meet that mark.
From CSN New England’s Jessica Camerato:
Rajon Rondo's first NBA assist was on a Ryan Gomes jumper, Nov. 1, 2006 against the Hornets. He reached 4,000 tonight. #Celtics— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBA) February 9, 2014
Man, remember when Ryan Gomes was a thing?
Wait, that’s not why we're here. We’re here because Rondo—the sole holdover from Boston’s 2008 championship team—is still a championship-caliber player. In case you forgot.
Next up on Boston’s all-time leaderboard: Just a guy named Bill Russell (4,100). Assuming Rondo keeps up with his usual pace, he could pass the man of the 11 rings by sometime in early March.
At that point, the air only gets more rarefied, with Paul Pierce (4,305), Larry Bird (5,695), John Havlicek (6,114) and Bob Cousy (6,945) being the only obstacles left between Rondo and Celtics immortality.
Rondo’s ability to distribute has always set him apart from the pack. But seldom has that service been in higher demand than with this year’s Celtics, which are as bare as the cupboards have been following the loss of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets this past summer.
The faces might have changed, but Rondo’s approach—as relayed to ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg last Friday—remains the same: "I like to make guys' jobs easier," Rondo said earlier this week. "I think I did it the past couple of years, getting guys wide-open looks, high-percentage shots, closer to the basket."
So congratulations to Rondo on this impressive milestone. Now let’s just hope he sticks around long enough to knock a few more Boston legends off the ladder.