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Rajon Rondo Is Working Harder Than You

Or maybe he’s just a much better athlete right now than Jason Williams. Either way, this play gets a spot with Dave Cowens and Larry Bird in the montage of C’s diving for loose balls in big games:

A smattering of folks on Twitter last night said this was a traveling violation.

Those people appear to be wrong.

This page of the NBA’s official video rule book says what Rondo did is legal and shows two clips of other players (Alonzo Mourning and Tracy McGrady) doing the same thing. Go take a look. 

Here’s the key sentence:

“When in possession of the ball while on the floor, an offensive player is permitted to stand up, establish a pivot foot and resume play.” 

Case closed. (I think;  John Hollinger says Rondo “blatantly traveled” in today’s Daily Dime at ESPN.com). 

Thanks to the great Jose3030 for uploading the video so fast last night.

Update: KG adds this quote (via the Globe):

“That was probably the play of the playoffs to me,’’ said Kevin Garnett. “It was pure, ‘I want it more than you.’ Shorty is in the zone.’’


  • PierceTurth

    when i saw this play it reminded me of the james posey play of 2008 – i think in the confrence semis – and how he chased down a lose ball on the other side of the court that had no chance but still the effort was amazing… oh ya and what happened that year we had such hustle and effort? WE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP

  • rondo-is-love

    So it IS in the rulebook! When everyone talked about how it was travelling, I started to wonder how in the world the NBA expected players to get up off the floor in that type of situation.

  • rondo-is-love


    Are you talking about the Eddie House play in Game 7 against Cleveland?


  • Sophomore

    @rondo-is-truth – awesome link.

  • Sophomore

    oops – rondo-is-love.

  • DRJ1

    Hollinger has shown himself to be a fool insofar, at least, as the Celtics are concerned.

  • Berkcelt

    Hollinger should know better. This isn’t high school.

    I love that Eddie House play, btw! Rondo’s play also reminded me of that game 7, but it was the jump ball that Pierce stole at the end. You can check it out here around the 5:25 mark:


  • Hollinger is not a fool about anything. Dude is brilliant.

  • Jay P

    I miss Eddie…

  • How can you miss Eddie when Nate Robinson is playing so well and paying such close attention in team huddles?

  • Scott

    The next thing hollinger gets right will be the first.

  • philip

    @zach and DRJ1 re: hollinger a fool

    just a quick tangent regarding hollinger. i am not in the camp of fans/readers that thinks he is a fool. however, he dos make it hard to enjoy his articles when he relies so heavily on his analysis and so little on what he sees in the game. when someones leans so heavily on analysis, small sample sizes (e.g., the cleveland series) are unable to sway your opinion. that is fine, but it leads to situations in which you might write something like: “They have the best players, more depth and more rest. There’s simply no plausible reason to bet against them.”

    that’s what hollinger wrote about the magic before this series. granted, he was one of 8 (out of 10) “experts” over at espn who picked the magic. so you cannot blame him for picking the magic at all. but the way he explained his pick certainly leaves him open to attacks of being called a “fool”. i think it’s unfair to call him a fool … perhaps it is more accurate to write/say that in this case, he was foolish.

  • tim

    honestly out of all the espn writers, hollinger is the only one that when i read him, i get a little angry.. an example of why is him saying that rondo BLATANTLY TRAVELED as if it were fact, when, in FACT it was a perfectly legit move.. maybe its because hes 100% anti celtic, atleast this year, but the guy is just annoying

  • Jay P

    @Zach Lowe

    Haha, nice.

    More than anything it’s just sad that Eddie couldn’t be here for this. We gave him up for a guy that’s riding the bench and only plays garbage time. Eddie should be here for this, he earned his chance to ride that bench to another ring.

  • Jay Cutler

    Zach, there’s no reason an educated person can’t be a fool. All the same, do what you have to do.

    As for Jason Williams, he’s on the Mike Bibby athletic stage at this point – and that may explain why his momentum made him think twice about diving. Nevertheless Rondo clearly wanted it more.

    It’s sad to say but the fact that Rondo made the basket afterwards is what solidifies the play in basketball lore for most.

  • I love Green


  • DRJ1

    @Zach– You just finished pointing out that Rondo’s play was legal, yet Hollinger states outright that it was not — with no evidence or logic. And he was the guy who said there’s “no plausible reason” to pick the Celtics over the Magic. I don’t know about his other work (and don’t care). But clearly, it’s completely reasonable to say that “Hollinger has shown himself to be a fool insofar, at least, as the Celtics are concerned.”

  • Mike

    Hollinger is good at math, not at analyzing basketball. His biggest reason for picking the Magic was because they were 27-3 in their last 30 games with some ridiculous scoring margin. He didn’t even dive into how the teams match up (perhaps the most important thing in a postseason series). He thinks LBJ is on track to top MJ as the greatest of all time, simply because of his statistics. Statistics don’t account for the cut-throat competitive edge that Jordan had that LBJ will never have. In 2008, he picked the Lakers because they had more talent. Really? Kobe and Pau are a great duo, but how can any rational human being think that they had more talent than the C’s who had THREE HOFers in their prime?? Bottom line here is that while his analysis seems to go to great depth, it is actually very shallow because it only looks at statistics which are only a part of the equation and can often be misleading.

  • Mike

    Also, it is worth noting that he picked against the C’s from the 2nd round all the way through the championship round in 2008. He has followed the same template this year, so lets only hope he picks the Lakers in the finals!

  • Hollinger loves stats, not basketball. Case closed. Dude’s just jealous.

  • Hollinger has been hating the Green forever… mostly , i think because the intangibles just mess up his stat-obsessed brain. he’s done the last two columns and he’s finally coming’ round.

    too bad. don’t want him. shove it.
    we are world beaters again and it will be shown.

  • wharpua

    I thought that the reason that Rondo’s killer play wasn’t travelling was because he had the ball trapped on the floor itself – I can’t recall another situation like this, actually.

    If you’ve trapped the ball on the floor, you’re not dribbling, but do you actually have possession of it? Can you trap the ball on the floor and run around it, disregarding the need for a pivot foot?

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