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There was something incredibly exciting about watching Larry Bird play. My brain brings back memories of a ball stolen in 1987, an impossible shot behind the glass, the legend from French Lick giving it all for the last possession, no matter how hard he hit the floor he would always get up.

By the summer of 1992 the magic had left the Boston Garden. Those ghosts that once haunted our rivals returned to the franchise as a sort of karma engulfed in a longer than life nightmare. Ever since, lots of players have worn the Irish green, athletic freaks as Ricky Davis or Tony Allen, very good playmakers such as Kenny Anderson or Sherman Douglas, skilled forwards such as Antoine Walker or our own Paul Pierce... but we were predictable, our enemies knew how to beat us.

Then two things happened in 2007. The first was the arrival of a genuine beast of the parquets, the most talented and physically gifted big man in the history of the game became a Celtic. He became our modern version of Bill Russell, a fierce competitor, a defensive juggernaut made our team become invincible. He brought back three of the deadly sport mightiest sins: wrath, gluttony and pride. The Celtics have become a mad team since then, just willing to get championship after championship.

The second phenomenon has been developing gradually in the last two years. While we remained obsessed with the silent and deadly caress of Father Time to our veteran leaders we were also gifted with the birth of the most talented young star. Silently, in the dark he waited for his opportunity to shine. He never looked for excuses but at the same time he never avoided any confrontation.

As a sports messiah, he knew his time was going to arrive. He had the whole world convinced of this by the time of game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals. He simply dominated the game without the need of a scoring punch. He just read the game and executed his plan.

His game became epic by the 2009 playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. I had honestly never seen anybody play before like he did in those series. He averaged a triple double against a very good team with another star at the point, Derrick Rose. Right when the Gods of Basketball Justice punished the Great Kevin Garnett for his domination on the rest of the league forwards during more 13 years, Rondo became the new Prometheus to steal the divine mastership of the basketball game. He was simply unstoppable, his reign had started. The Celtics knew it, and they secured their future by extending his contract for the next handful of years.

If you've watched any of the games of the 2009/10 season you will agree with me on this: Rajon Rondo was the MVP of the Celtics. You will also probably agree that he was the leader of this team and that without him we wouldn't have been anywhere near those NBA finals. And soon we start to realise that this is Rajon's team, and even if the logic of a squad with the likes of Garnett, Pierce, Allen and  Shaq could suggest that those Hall of Famers and perennial  All Stars should lead the team, we all know that the Kentucky born point guard will lead them all come Playoff time.

The truth is that all reasoning leads us to the old laws of Physics, Maths and Biology. According to the laws that rule Mother Nature, there hasn't been a Celtics player like Rajon in decades. And we are not talking about point guards only. With all due respect, Rondo is a freak of nature, a player designed to have his number retired with the greatest of this franchise. And we know this when he is only 24 years old, still far from his prime.

In some place of Kentucky, a man who would defy the laws of sports would be born. Somewhere at some time Larry Bird must have spoken to Kevin Garnett. They probably debated about the Basketball Greatest players, about how to be a winner in this league, about the tradition of the Boston Celtics and what would take to become a legend of the NBA. And who knows? Maybe the Gods decided to create the player that would make that conversation real. While we all thought that our franchise was gifted with doom for 15 years of mediocrity, the truth is that we were given a present that was waiting to become real years later.

Physically, Rondo is the Kevin Garnett of the point guards: long arms, huge hands, tremendous athleticism, defensive prowess...there is no law of physics that Rondo hasn't broken already. They are teaching Rondo modern Maths laws in schools in all the nation. Go ask Cleveland, Orlando or Chicago. Ask Mo Williams, Kirk Hinrich, Jason Williams, Jameer Nelson or Derrick Rose. Or better, go and ask Chris Paul about Rajon Rondo. He has frustrated the whole net of play makers in the league.

But what makes Rondo even more special is the fact that he can make things possible, that he is incredibly unpredictable. Just as Larry Bird, he believes he can do anything on the court and he backs it up. He is proud, cocky just as Bird was. When he is asked he replies there is no one better than him, and he has been proving it. Larry proved he could play in this league despite his physical limitations, Rajon is proving that he can be a Hall of Famer with his unlimited PhD's of Physics.

What Rajon Rondo brings to the Celtics is the dream of what can't be controlled. The magical steal, the incredible assist, the amazing dunk, the most beautiful and impossible layup...and even the last second three pointers. And he does it all with incredible pride and growing leadership skills, with fearless determination. We all remember his action against Artest in the Finals to defend a teammate, he doesn't avoid a fight to prove he is right. No matter if his enemy is of his size (Hinrich) or bigger (Brad Miller).

One day, many years from now, kids will watch his vids and recreate his legend in console games as we do with Michael Jordan now. Many (as me) will continue to wonder how a player who looked limited in college would become a legend in such a little time. And that day, maybe he will meet Bird and Garnett and another Celtic greatest will be born.

Bohemian 9/23/2010 05:10:00 AM Edit
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18 Responses so far.

  1. Karl says:

    Great article. Best thing I've read in awhile. Agree completely!

  2. tb727 says:

    Very well written Bohemian.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Me encanta Rondo y es bello, me tiene encantada y quiero q los celtic ganen esta temporada. Espero q Dios los ayude!

  4. Danita Roshonda Cozart says:

    Wow. That one almost brought tears to my eyes. I am so proud to be Bostonian. CELTICS BABY!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    only reason he looked limeited in college was because of Tubby Smith... he broke the all-time single-season steals record at Kentucky...as a FRESHMAN with 87! Also pulled down 19 board in one game. He was a caged bird. Should have been in the final 4 convo both years with him running the team, instead, Smith benched him and we wallowed in mediocrity. We still love you back home Rajon. Made us all very proud. Keep coming back home and represent BBN.

  6. RFY says:

    If only he could make a free throw! Let's hold off on the legend talk 'til then

  7. Anonymous says:

    very true RFY... he has improved greatly since his time at Kentucky. sad but true. terrifying to have him handling the ball, up 1, with a few seconds left. just such a unique player though. one of my all-time favorite Wildcats and a sure fire NBA HOFer one day IMO

  8. JR says:

    Bill Russell was a career 56% free throw shooter fwiw. Was he not a legend? People need to get off the whole FT thing. Rondo does enough amazing things that he can have deficiencies like anyone else. And like Red said when talking about Shaq it's his hands. Red compared a person with big hands shooting a FT to a regular person shooting a tennis ball into a hoop not much bigger than the tennis ball. rondo has mutant hands. They hurt his outside shooting but help with other parts of his game.

  9. RFY says:

    JR, if Rondo could shut down Pau Gasol on the other end like Russell would then sure, 56% from the FT line would be acceptable... but when you have the ball 70-80% of the time on the offensive end, yet you're timid about driving the lane because you don't want to go to the foul line (did you see Kobe lay off him in the series?), that's a problem.

    Don't get me wrong - he's one of my favorites! But a PG -HAS- to shoot at least 70% from the FT line IMHO.

  10. tb727 says:

    I don't like taking sides, but I agree completely with RFY. Bean played way off him all Finals. Rondo had to make him pay and didn't. I understand Rajon was great in the Eastern Conference Playoffs- I can't take anything away from that because he was truly spectacular.

    But his inability to knock down jumpers and free throws really hurt in the Finals. And in Boston, 2010 is now a failure of a season since Celtics fans only care about titles.

  11. JR says:

    I agree that Rondo needs to get his FT % up to 70%. After starting last season abysmally he actually did shoot fine the rest of the year, but faltered at the line in the end at the worst time. I think he can be a 70% guy but he's going to miss some Fts and we'll simply have to live with it.

    Regarding Kobe TB I think one of the problems is that rondo like magic or kid or Nash is best suited to a running game but based on the celtics older personnel we can't play that style, so he has to make the best out of the situation. Doc implores the team to run, but their old legs just can't always. That is why I've wanted Danny to add some youth and athleticism.

    In a running game Kobe playing off rondo wouldn't present a problem as often. Also a problem with the matchup with the lakers is that they can hide the defensive sieve fisher on Ray. Love Ray, but that is why I was cool with the monta trade. Monta would kill fisher.

    Rondo needs to get his ft shooting up to 70 percent, but his jump shooting isn't that big a deal. It only becomes a problem versus the damn lakers and that's because we don't take advantage of Fisher defensively and we don't run enough versus them. The latter is also partly b/c of rebounding. With all that said the lakers would have been blown out in game 7 with a healthy Perk and no one would be dogging Rondo right now. he was the the MVP of our playoffs for the 2nd straight season.

  12. Bohemian says:

    Thanks for the comments!

    Regarding his FT's let's not forget that he's only 24. I am certain that he can improve his %.In any case, as JR points out the rest of the incredible things he does really mask that weakness. If he continues working as hard as he does he will get to makes his FT's too, just as Magic got to become a decent three point shooter at some point of his career. Everybody works hard to improve their game, and Rondo is not an exception

  13. ThomasJ says:

    Great writing Bohemian! I've always been a big KG guy and love Rondo's skills, too.

    JR, if Rondo was really the playoff MVP he needs to develop a game that can be effective in the halfcourt with the D sagging off. His 24 pts, 16 asst, 13 reb, 6 TO, 3 stl total in those last 2 losses in LA reflect that. Those aren't big game MVP numbers. Yes, we definitely win with Perk, but I still feel Boston wins that game with a Rondo who could exert some kind of control or assert himself when LA began chipping away at that 3rd quarter lead.

    Never too late to work on your perimeter shot. Bean doesn't get 11 defensive rebounds in game 7 if he has to respect Rondo from the 18-20 foot range.

    I'm not dogging Rajon, I love watching him because along with his physical gifts he has a great intelligence and vision on the court. I'll take his passing and defense over any pg in the league. Developing a decent perimeter game makes him virtually unguardable.

  14. ThomasJ says:

    Yes, we need to get off the FT topic. I'm sure Rondo can get it above 70% even though acceptable for an NBA pg should be in the 80% range.

    Last thing, Julius Erving had some big mitts and stiil managed to shoot 78% for his career.
    That can you're shooting the tennis ball into is still twice the diameter of the ball!

  15. japs says:

    This was the most overblown n overhyped article I've ever read. Rondos a good player but he is no where near legendary. He mite not hav hit his prime at 24 but he's def peaked. Once the big 3 r gone he's gonna go back 2 being an avg player

  16. Bohemian says:

    To say Rondo has peaked at 24 is definitely an overblown statement. Just check the bios and stats of other players at that age and start comparing, some of them weren't even All Star at that age.

    Once the big 3 are gone he will shine even more because he will be asked to do more.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    What an article! Respect the legend no.9

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