Out of all of the former Kentucky players in recent history that have made it to the league Rajon Rondo is my favorite player. Coming out of highschool at Oak Hill Rondo was a stud and had pro-potential written all over him, now with an NBA Championship ring and an All-Star appearance that is a reality.
I am partial to Rondo being that he is from Louisville (yes, it is part of Kentucky and in fact has more UK fans than UL fans…) and him starting his career (Freshmen-Junior) at Eastern Highschool, my alma-mater. Rondo shunned UL and Ricky P’s recruiting for hell and high water to play Tubby ball at UK (my other alma-mater, see the connection). The Tubbster and Rondo relationship went affray early on in their courtship however, Rondo still managed to have 2 successful seasons at UK before making the early leap to the pros prior to his junior year.
There were many drawbacks from scouts on his game. Could he develop that outside shot, could he run a pro-style offense (a 180 from Tubby D Ball)?
The Phoenix Suns drafted Rondo in the 2006 draft as the 21st pick overall, almost immediately it looked as if his career was off to a slow start having to play a backup role behind league MVP Steve Nash, eh? Not so fast, the Suns immediately traded Rondo, along with Brian Grant to the Celtics for cash and 2007 draft pick. Their bad.
The Boston Celtics took a chance with Rondo early in his development playing him in a 3-guard rotation with Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West.
The 2007-2008 season began with Telfair and West being traded. Rondo was immediately inserted to the starting lineup and since then he hasn’t looked back, becoming one of the premiere point guards in the NBA. Yes, he had Garnett, Peirce, and Allen on his squad, which would virtually make any point guard look good, but the bottom line is that Rondo stepped up and played to their level of play and never missed a beat.
Rondo is 4th in Celtics history for Triple-Doubles in his short career with 5 total, falling behind Celtic greats Larry Legend (69), Former Cat Antione Walker (13), and Paul Peirce (6). (Never would imagine Antoine “Shimmy, Shimmy, Yaw” Walker would be up there in Celtic lore)
By the way, he is really, really rich, signing a $55 million deal for 5 years over last summer. Hopefully he doesn’t get financial advice from our boy Antoine.
Rondo is looking to take his team on his back to the playoffs for 2009-2010, averaging a career high 14 pts, 9.8 asst, and 2.5 steals a game and becoming the true floor general the Celtics need to make a run.
Some mind boggling stats for Rondo this season so far:
#1 in Steals, #1 in Steals per game
#2 in Assists, #4 in Assists per game, #7 in Assists per turnover
#9 in Double-doubles
Tied for #2 in Triple-doubles