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Rondo: Celtics Will Still Lose “Even When I’m Back 110 Percent”

 

The words “self-aware” and “Rajon Rondo” appear to be an uncommon pairing. Rondo, like many superstars, is known for his super-human confidence, at least outwardly. But in a rebuilding season, when Rondo is also trying to rebuild his body and his game, it appears he understands perfectly the challenges Boston is facing.

Here’s the Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes:  

If anyone viewed Rajon Rondo as the Celtics’ potential savior this season, as a player who could swoop in and rescue them from one of the worst campaigns in franchise history, well, he begs to differ.

“Even when I do come back to 110 percent, we’re still going to lose games,” the point guard told the Globe recently.

This kind of self-awareness seems out of character for Rondo, who once brashly called the Celtics “the team to beat” in the East in 2011, after Boston had clawed its way to the Finals the year before. You may recall 2011 as the first year of Miami’s Big Three, a season when most commentators were ready to hand Miami the Eastern Conference on a platter given Boston’s age and Miami’s assembled talent. Rondo, however, had no intention of rolling over despite Miami’s obvious advantages. One would imagine that his (arguably irrational) confidence would have spilled over into this season.

It’s good to see that’s not the case, however, especially combined with his comments earlier this season that he “wouldn’t mind” staying with the Celtics for the rest of his career. This season has been — and is going to continue to be — a long one for everyone involved, but especially for members of the team who have played through several winning campaigns. No one on the squad has won as many games with the Celtics as Rondo, so for him to accept this losing year as a reality appears to be one step toward him accepting the franchise’s plans, especially given his quotes later in the article. More from Holmes:

“It’s part of the process,” Rondo said. “I’ll be fine. I’m competitive. I want to win. I hate losing. But it’s not the end of the world. I’m still doing what I love to do.”

I’m not sure what happened to Rondo, but this is pretty clearly an impersonator. Losing isn’t “the end of the world?” And when has he ever expressed actual human emotion? He “loves what he does?” I’m not surprised to hear that he loves basketball, given the way he plays and the creativity he shows on the court, but I’m VERY surprised to hear him admit it.

Anyway, Rondo’s recovery will likely last into next season, so continued patience is going to be big. This whole season is a process. A big part of the process is going to be getting Rondo healthy, but another sizable portion will be getting him to buy into the team’s vision. If this collection of quotes is any indicator, the Celtics are making strides in that direction.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

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