‘Playoff Rondo’ is a magical individual. Basketball magic in its purest form.
That is what I will miss the most. With the news coming through yesterday that Rajon Rondo would be traded to Dallas my first thought was that I will never get to see ‘Playoff Rondo’ take over games in green again. This sad realisation was heartbreaking for a self-confessed Rondo lover and defender.
2012 ‘Playoff Rondo’ was on a whole new level. My personal favourite Rajon Rondo moment throughout his entire Celtics career was the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals versus the enemy that was the Miami Heat.
Not only did Rondo take over games, he took over as the leader of the Celtics. You could see the transition from Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to Rajon Rondo happening in front of your eyes.
Each game in the ruthless seven game series stand out for various reasons but I can’t go past Game 2.
44 points. 10 assists. 8 rebounds. 53 minutes. Sadly, the end result was an overtime loss.
Rondo could not have played a better game. He played with heart, determination, strength, and most importantly Celtic Pride. Rondo epitomized what it meant to be a Celtic. He understood the history and knew what winning meant to the fans.
The game was a great one, and the player who stood up was Rondo. He blew away the go-to attack from the haters that “Rondo can’t shoot” by shooting 100% from beyond the arc and 67% from the field. Not many players that ‘can’t shoot’ can score 44 points in a game, nonetheless Game 2 of an Eastern Conference Finals series.
The reason why this game stays in my mind the most, even though it was a loss, is the way Rondo displayed a different facet of his game. He is known as the facilitator; the king of the dimes, but on this night he knew the team needed scoring from him, so score he did. He was simply unstoppable.
Rondo never backed down from a challenge, that is why he was loved by many. This was most definitely the case on this night.
The assists, the fakes behind the back, the triple doubles, the asshole, the messing with opposition defences, the warrior, the diving steal under Jason Williams, the raising of banner 17. For the good times and the bad times, I want to personally thank Rajon Rondo for giving his heart and soul in all of the 619 games he pulled on a Celtics jersey. To see my all-time favourite player not in green will be hard to take, but I look forward to watching ‘Playoff Rondo’ take over once again, hopefully in June 2015. Rondo playing in games that matter is a treat for basketball fans. Now go get ring number two!
THANK YOU RAJON RONDO.