If you didn't have an opportunity to pick up today's Boston Globe Magazine, here's the lengthy feature (7 pages on the website) on Rajon Rondo and the accompanying video interview. The title of the feature is great-"The Stubborn, Impatient, Self-Centered, and Absolutely Essential Rajon Rondo"
All great athletes create a permanence within themselves. So much else is out of their control. From the time they show promise, they are judged from afar, their future writ in scribbles on some distant clipboard. What other people think of them can be more important than what they know about themselves. Their professional lives can depend on the whim of a coach or the thin, fragile strands of the ligaments in the human knee. What is often decried as selfishness or stubbornness in an athlete is nothing more than an attempt to assert something solid at the heart of a world they cannot control. They create the permanence in their lives within themselves -- their game, their talent -- as a hedge against the gleaming evanescence of the careers those talents have brought. And, of all our sports, basketball is the least permanent.
People who are old enough to remember the first National Basketball Association championship won by the Boston Celtics, in 1957, also are old enough to remember that the team’s point guard, Bob Cousy, was regularly derided as a “showboat” because he had the audacity to dribble the ball behind his back. Today, given the strength and speed of modern NBA players, someone like, say, Rajon Rondo -- who plays the same position for the Celtics that Cousy did -- cannot function as an NBA point guard without being able to do that. Someone who dribbles behind his back doesn’t even draw a gasp from the crowd anymore. It took less than 40 years for the NBA to get from the two-handed set shot to Michael Jordan. By contrast, it took baseball nearly a century just to develop the relief pitcher. Even basketball’s fundamentals are not fundamental. They evolve. It is harder for basketball players to create that permanence within themselves, so when they do, they hold tight to it against an accelerated existence.
It’s mid-October, and Rajon Rondo was still negotiating his future with the team. “This is a business,” Rondo explains, his eyes flickering over the shoulder of the person to whom he’s talking, taking in everything going on as his teammates shoot free throws and crack wise with one another out on the court beyond. There is a shrewdness in the compass of his gaze, and a kind of universal comprehension. And he measures every word, every thought by the syllable. He reveals very little, but he misses nothing.