On April 2nd 2010 Rajon Rondo threw a lob alley-oop pass to Kevin Garnett for a dunk which established a new franchise single-season record for assists, passing arguably the greatest point guard of all-time Bob Cousy, and thus linking their careers forever. The record breaking doesn’t stop there, on June 6th 2012 Rondo passed Cousy with 39 career playoff games of 10 or more assists, becoming the all-time Celtics leader as well. To be compared to the greatest Celtics point guard of all-time usually isn’t a good look, except when it’s the greatest himself making the comparison.
In this recent article by Bob Doyle, the ‘Cooz’ talked about how important Rondo is to the Celtics, compared their two games, and linked the parallels in temperaments. Despite the Green rallying off eight wins of their first nine games post Rondo injury, Cousy believes the notion that they’re better off without #9 is “hogwash.”
“Obviously, I have probably an inflated opinion of the point guard value in this game, It’s like driving a car without a designated driver.”
“I’m very high on Rondo,” Cousy said, “and you can’t take a point guard like that out of the lineup and have everything remain the same and have them continue to win. I bet by the end of the season, they will have lost more than they win without Rondo.”
I sure hope not Cooz, but I agree with Mike Dyer’s post after the loss on Sunday to the Blazers that this team is hurting without him. The winning streak after his injury was clearly the team rallying together and playing on emotion, but that can’t carry them all the way to the NBA finals. When the playoffs come around I know they will be wishing they had Rondo’s intensity and leadership. Some people say he’s too intense and too much of a control freak, not the Cooz though:
“That was probably the wrong thing to say to me,” Cousy said, “because I was intense and to some degree I was a control freak. If you’re running the show, you’ve got to establish your authority. If you take control, it helps the overall confidence of the team. It helps the coach to know that he’s got a coach on the floor, and it gives the ones who are insecure a crutch to lean on.
“The cool, the lackadaisical, the lack of passion or intensity to me is much more of a negative than being overly intense.”
I couldn’t agree more, Rondo’s intensity and desire to be in control (like Cousy) drives him to be great. Sometimes his intensity will get the best of him like last year when he got suspended for throwing the ball at the ref. But when Rondo is locked in he’s up there with the best of the best, and I’ll take that greatness every time.
Hopefully Rondo continues to get better and we can keep these comparisons to Cousy for years to come. I also strongly recommend Doyle’s article, it’s a good read. One other amazing thing I learned about the Cooz was that last week he recorded his seventh career hole-in-one, using an 11-wood on the 165-yard, par-3 13th hole at Bear Lakes CC in West Palm Beach, Fla. We love ya Cooz but I call hogwash on 7 career hole-in-ones… on second thought maybe there’s finally a record that Rondo will never break.