Rajon Rondo Doesn't Mess Around When It Comes to Connect Four

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterFebruary 26, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 25:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics waits for an inbounds pass against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 25, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It seems Rajon Rondo considers himself something of a Connect Four player. 

The Boston Celtics star is sidelined with an awful ACL injury that robbed him of his season. That just means the guard will have plenty of time to dive into his other passion in life: beating the snot out of you at Connect Four. 

Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated has a report on the star and his biggest passion in life, other than basketball of course. 

The entire article is not yet online, but SB Nation and The Basketball Jones captured some of the more intriguing parts of the interview. 

The Celtics didn’t want to change Rondo when he arrived, but they didn’t want to him either. So at charity foundations he perched behind a folding table where he could avoid the back-slapping, baby-hugging and other standard forms of celebrity fakery. He just played Connect Four, against anybody who dared, usually two grids at a time and sometimes three. “This has been going on for six years,” Matt Meyersohn, the Celtics’ director of community relations, said on Dec. 22 during an event at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester, Mass. “He’s played hundreds of Connect Four games, maybe a thousand. And he’s never lost.”

First off, Connect Four, much like Monopoly, sounds like a good time for all of two seconds. Most people get past that brief moment without actually setting the board up. 

For those unfortunate souls who actually have the motivation to get things set, they are instantly hit with the realization they are playing Connect Four, and they would like to stop. 

Also, winning hundreds of games without losing does deserve a ton of recognition. The only way to win Connect Four is by waiting for your opponent to lose. That is to say, someone at some point loses interest and makes an egregious gaffe. 

That's how these things are lost. It seems Rondo is the Michael Jordan of concentrating on Connect Four checkers in front of him. 

Later that day Rondo sat behind a table and three girls. Across from him there were more than 100 children he had showered with bikes, Razor scooters and iPod Touches that he bought at Target and distributed from the back of a U-Haul. “I thought he might let us win,” said a 12-year-old named Olissa. “But he was so serious.”


Olissa was the last challenger. He stared back at Rondo through wire-rimmed glasses. He clenched teeth covered with braces. He initiated what he called a trap, forcing Rondo to the right side of the grid, putting him on the defensive. When Olissa dropped the winning disk, Celtics officials started to shout. Meyerson grabbed the microphone. “This has never happened!” he bellowed.


“I can’t believe it,” [Rondo] said. “But did you notice I played the guy five more times and won them all? I had to show him, ‘You beat me, I’ll beat the s*** out of you.’”

And this is my favorite part of the story. 

Rondo doesn't want to beat you, he wants to humiliate you, to send you home crying and wishing that you were never introduced to Connect Four, perhaps to board games in general. 

Hell, he wants you to wish you never found out what fun was. 

So you can sit across from Rondo and play Connect Four, but let the man win. Otherwise, he is going to break out the figurative hammer and lay into you one drop of the Connect Four disk at a time. 

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