It is etched on the pantheon walls of the basketball gods: To become a legend, you must create your legacy in the playoffs.
All the greats were doubted at one time or another in college or in the infancy of their pro careers. If they are partnered with future Hall-of-Famers, naysayers claim it is because they have those players surrounding them.
That is the dilemma Rajon Rondo found himself in during the first three years of his career.
Each year he has helmed the point for the Boston Celtics, they have either won a championship or made it past the first round of the playoffs. Rondo's postseason success is due to his offseason workouts.
It is well documented that last summer he spent his time with Mark Price, one of the best shooters at his position. Rondo struggled with the new mechanics, but he now has it figured out, and it's paying off. He's displayed the knack to hit the three under duress.
What is truly amazing about this gifted player is that he never watched basketball growing up. He lived for football instead; he played the quarterback position. Rondo's game comes from within, his perceived shortcomings have been turned into a major strength.
When he puts his mind to it, no one can stop him. His teammates feed off of his frenzied attacks and throw themselves wholeheartedly into the foray.
Rondo displayed just that by dishing out 19 assists in his last playoff game, a win over the Cavaliers that knotted the series at one apiece.
He makes lesser-skilled offensive players look like stars, and he helps superstars uphold their Hall-of-Fame status. Rondo knows his weapons' tendencies inside and out. He understands and respects the Big Three enough to balance his aggressiveness and knowing when to feed them.
He is the MVP in spirit, and that spirit is what makes the Big Three understand that this little big man, the smallest Rottweiler on the team, knows how to lead them.
He is the present and future of the Boston Celtics. Celtic Nation wouldn't have it any other way.
It is etched on the pantheon walls of the basketball gods: And the smallest shall lead them.
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