What’s the most important statistic a player can rack up by the end of a game? Is it points? Wilt Chamberlain dropped 100 in a game! Is it rebounds? Chamberlain also managed to snag 55 missed shots in one game! Is it assists? Scott Skiles dropped 30 dimes in one single regular season game! All these milestones are down in the record books as the most amazing individual feats attained in a regular season game. And all of these statistics happen to fall short of the most important statistic, a W.
The NBA is littered with players that have achieved impressive individual accolades. It’s a difficult task to come across a player that is a proven victor though. A true winner is able to sacrifice individual achievements for the success of a team. Every generation or so a winner manifests himself to the world. I’d like to dedicate this post to the success of one of my favorite contemporary winners, Rajon Rondo.
For a player that lurks in the shadow of the illustrious Big 3, Rondo wins humbly and quite often. Boston has four strong veteran personalities in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Doc Rivers. The 24 year-old Rajon Rondo has earned the trust and respect of every one of them. Rondo has quietly taken complete command of this Boston Celtics team. Why do they trust him, because he’s a winner. When Paul Pierce, one of the greatest scorers in Celtics history, grabs a defensive rebound he’s looking to put the ball into Rondo’s hands. When Doc Rivers needs extended minutes, who does he call on, Rondo(40.6mpg). Ray Allen runs a marathon every game because he trusts Rondo to give him sufficient open looks. Rondo is constantly under the microscope for his performance and he handles the pressure well.
Kevin Garnett went down from a knee injury in 2009, and was forced to sit out the 2009 playoffs. The Celtics rebounding and defensive presence took a dive. Rajon Rondo took matters into his own hands to compensate for the loss of Garnett. Every single one of Rondo’s statistics spiked. He went on to average 17 ppg, 9.3 apg, 9.7 rpg, and 2.5 spg. What 6’1″ point guard in the league is going to battle in the paint with the Goliaths and snag 10 rebounds a game in the playoffs? No one expected this much out of Rondo. Doc Rivers didn’t place the responsibility of rebounding on his point guard. Rajon Rondo placed that responsibility on himself because of his desire and will to win. Although the Celtics were defeated in the 7th game of the second round, Rondo garnered the trust and respect of Garnett, the Celtics, and the city of Boston.
This season Rondo is averaging a staggering 14.7 assists a game, leading the Celtics to an Eastern Conference best record of 12-4. Although this is just another statistic it is also a measure of his unselfishness and desire to make his teammates better. I’ve personally seen Rajon Rondo drop 55 points in an Oak Hill Academy high school game. Anybody that plays basketball and has that capacity to score enjoys it. Rondo sacrifices this joy and individual success for the betterment of his team. Rondo averages 11 points per game and shoots an awesome percentage from the field(50%). He scores quite efficiently. And just as efficient as his scoring is his will to win.
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