Despite missing two potential game-winning jumpers, Rajon Rondo has reminded us why we love him so much in Boston. He only cares about one thing: winning.
After his fight with Kris Humphries and his subsequent ejection and two-game suspension, there was doubt looming over how likable and mature Rondo really was. I found myself thinking about Rondo so much that I wrote a long, analytic piece about him as a person.
After last night, though, Rondo told about as much about himself in one game as I did in 1,500 words. The first thing that stood out when you watched this game was how much he dominated and how dominant he can be.
He had a triple-double in the third quarter (the 24th of his career) and finished with an unparalleled stat line that included 16 points, 14 assists, 13 rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
However, Rondo would have no talk of his dominant performance.
There was only one thing on his mind and that was his two missed jumpers.
The second potential game-winner was an easy layup that he slipped on while trying to turn it into a layup. Yes, he should have taken the layup and won the game.
But he didn't, and in his failure, he showed us his greatest strength: it's all about winning for him.
On my last article about Rondo, I had a great conversation about Rondo in the comment section about how much he cared about triple-doubles (that's what we call foreshadowing).
When the question was posed, this was how I responded: "I often have wondered how much Rondo was motivated by stats. He never really seems to care about how many points he scores, but during his assist streak he was certainly concerned about his assist numbers. During big games, though, his infatuation with triple-doubles seems to come out (not that that is a bad thing by any means).
In I believe the 1988 season, a young player named Michael Jordan became obsessed with triple-doubles to the point where throughout games he would go to the scorer's table to check his stats and lobby his case for an extra assist or two (in the next decade he would learn how to play "team basketball" and, well, I'm sure you know the rest of the story).
The reason I say this is because I don't think that Rondo's love for triple-doubles is that great or that potentially detrimental to the team. Although it seems too good to be true, I think Rondo only cares about winning, regardless of his stats."
Just two days ago, that was my opinion. Today, it's a fact. Rondo showed last night that he doesn't care about triple-doubles if he is losing.
If he was given the choice of an Oscar Robertson-esque season in which he averaged a triple-double or an NBA Championship, he wouldn't hesitate to pick the championship.
And that is why we love him. Beyond the fights, the "he can't shoot" and the immaturity lies an all-around dominant player that will do anything to win.
At the end of the day, I'll take the guy on my team that misses the game-winner and forgets about his triple-double any day of the week because, eventually, he will convert in the final seconds and then we will be having an entirely different conversation.
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