I’m hoping this quote will bring all “Rondo may not make Team USA!” talks to a quiet death. (Boston Globe)
“He’s unconventionally become an NBA champion and a triple-double guy in this league,’’ Krzyzewski said of Rondo. “The thing that Rondo does is he plays with a will to win, and he just finds ways to have a positive impact on the game. You know, I really like that about him. I thought I developed a really good relationship with him during the week, and his pressure on the ball, defense. But his will to win is something that I truly admire, and we need that.
“Plus, he’s a little bit older — not in age as much — but with experience, because the Celtics have gone so deep and have won one of the recent NBA championships. So, I think we’re very fortunate to have him.’’
Chris Sheridan called Rondo a lock, but also took the time to give him a nice little backhanded compliment. (TrueHoop)
Eric Gordon/Stephen Curry is another obvious bubble situation, with four of the five guard spots seemingly locked up by Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo (Note to Rondo skeptics: For all his faults, he rebounds better than any guard in the NBA — something that’ll obviously be needed in Turkey.)
Can we please stop talking about all Rondo’s faults? Can we please not talk about his rebounding like it’s the only thing keeping him on the roster? Rondo is a winner, first, foremost and always. Put him in an NBA competition and he’s better than any of those other guards listed. Every single one. He just finished an NBA postseason in which he was arguably the MVP of the entire playoffs. And now we can’t talk about anything but his faults, just because he’s playing in a FIBA competition where the rules are a bit different?
Child please. Outside of Deron Williams, Chris Paul and maybe Steve Nash, Rondo’s the best point guard in the league. Who else would you take instead of him? Rose? Sorry, get out of the first round before we talk about that. Parker? Maybe a few years ago, before he fell off. Billups? Give me Rondo any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Mr. Big Shot might as well be called Mr. “I’m Only 41% likely to hit my next” Shot.
And just because jump shooting isn’t his strong suit doesn’t mean Rondo won’t make an impact on Team USA. He’ll find open shooters. He’ll push the ball at breakneck speed. He’ll force turnover after turnover. He’ll penetrate the defense and show an uncanny ability to find an open man at the perfect time. Just because he’s playing foreigners with a weird-shaped lane doesn’t mean Rondo suddenly lost the ability to play basketball. Want to hear the story of another speed demon who has a suspect jumper but lives with a hunger for dimes and steals? His name’s Ricky Rubio, and he’s done pretty well for himself overseas.
So get off Rondo’s jock for a little while and enjoy. He’ll be in Turkey with Team USA and he’ll make an impact on the team. Rondo isn’t the best shooter in the world, but he never has been. And he always seems to find ways to adapt and make himself a threat. I don’t see why it will be any different just because he’s wearing Red, White and Blue.