There’s a reason why guys like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are given a lot of the credit for turning around the entire Boston Celtics organization. (You know, besides their terrific skills and all that jazz.)
Here’s what Garnett said to Rajon Rondo after he
choked missed two late free throws in the loss to the Clippers.
Via the Boston Herald:
“I told him after the game, ‘Man, we’ve all been in that position. We’ve all made them; we’ve all missed them,” Kevin Garnett said before last night’s 103-99 loss to the Warriors. “And more than less, I’ve got the confidence in you to go back up there and make those.’ That’s the confidence I’ve got in Rondo. If he was to go up there a hundred times, I’m going to support him a hundred times, if not a hundred and one.”
He shared tales of his own failures, saying, “I have actually airballed game-winners. I think when we had a chance to put the Lakers away I missed two big free throws. I mean, it’s what gives you tough skin.
“And I told Rondo the true essence and the true meaning of confidence is being able to step back up there and take them. A lot of people don’t want to be in that position. A lot of people shy away from that. Things happen to certain individuals, and he’s a special one. You know what? He’ll grow. This is part of it. It’s part of growing pains, and you live and learn with it.”
“The percentage I’m shooting now, you can only get there from habit, those pressure situations that you’ve been in during your career,” Allen said. “I’ve missed plenty of shots, plenty of free throws to win games. So now when I go to the line, you remember those moments.
“I just told him, I said, ‘That’s what you remember. When you go to shoot free throws and you try to duplicate that situation over and over again, it’s going to make you a better free throw shooter. It’s going to make you a better player.’
“It makes him a better player because he has to live with that,” Allen said. “He has to deal with that. We’ve all had that gut-wrenching feeling in our stomachs that you don’t want to eat, you don’t want to do anything until you can play the next game and try to put it as far as you can in the back of your mind.”
You’ve got to love the support from KG and Ray. Even if they don’t really believe in Rondo at the line, just to say that they do should bring Rondo some confidence.
And a night after saying those things?
Rondo went 7-9 from the line.