Gorman on Rondo: "I think Boston has really missed the boat on this kid"
As you know by now, Rajon Rondo joined Comcast Sports Net in place of the legendary Tommy Heinsohn for Monday night's broadcast in Chicago. Alongside Mike Gorman, Rondo called the first half of the game, and did a pretty good job.
Although his broadcasting was a bit rusty, as we should expect, Rondo's insight was fantastic. But the real story was that we got to see some of the Celtics' captain's personality. Like the headline says, Mike Gorman believes Boston's perception on Rondo is ill-conceived. Here is Gorman expanding on that idea in Baxter Holmes' piece for the Boston Globe:
“For this to be a success, for me, would be if people that are watching us walk away saying, ‘Wow, he’s a better kid than I thought,’ ” Gorman said.
“I think Boston has really missed the boat with this kid,” Gorman said. “I’m a Dorchester guy, I grew up in the city, and I just think the city has missed the boat in the sense that this is a good kid.
“He does a lot of good charity stuff outside of the Celtics that he’s never talked about. If BirthdayGate is the biggest offense that he has in his professional career, well, I don’t know what to say about that. That was just much ado about nothing.”
Gorman added that Rondo is “arguably, in my mind, one of the top five attractions in the NBA to watch on a nightly basis. He just does things that other people don’t do.”
For the most part, I think Gorman is right on the money here. Is Rondo a bit of an ass? Sure, but many great players are. If that is something that helps give him his edge on the court, then don't go lose that attitude. But Rondo is a good person, and like it or not, he most likely is here to stay as a major building block on future Celtics' teams.
Rondo is learning to lead, and what better year to be learning than this season? As much as Boston may have the perception of being against Rondo, I feel the verdict is still very much out on him. If he does a poor job leading and walks away in free agency, then that perception will hold strong.
However, if Rondo comes back next season and shows he has what it takes to be a captain, and commits to the future, it could be a different story. The Paul Pierce comparison has been overused this season, but it is the easiest one to use. Both were misunderstood in their younger years in Boston. Pierce pushed through it and became a hero. Rondo is at that same crossroad Pierce faced in 2007. If Rondo becomes a cornerstone of the rebuild, patient enough to wait for the right pieces to arrive, he will be rewarded with Boston's love -- plain and simple.
So although Gorman is right in ways, Boston may not have missed the boat on Rondo, they may just still be looking for it.