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LeBron thinks Rajon Rondo is a lot like Barry Sanders

May 5, 2011, 11:05 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

Obviously, I’m an NBA guy. I’ll watch random 1970s NBA finals games on NBA TV and get sucked in like it was happening live. I could watch Magic or Ice Man or even Harold Minor highlights all night long.

But are there better sports highlights than Barry Sanders runs? That man was a wizard.

So when LeBron James compared Rajon Rondo to Barry Sanders, as he did to ESPN, you have to take notice. The question was, “How do you prepare for Rondo?”

“You really can’t,” LeBron said. “You just have to be in tune. Every time he has the ball, you always have to know that he’s capable of making something happen, not only for himself, but for his teammates….

“There’s a lot of point guards — like Derrick Rose — he gets a lot of plays called for him, a lot of pick-and-roll sets, he comes off pin-downs or floppy actions. But Rondo, he’s either running pick-and-rolls, or he’s improvising on the break.

About that break, LeBron, how do you handle him in transition?

“You try to meet him before he gets his speed up,” LeBron said. “But you don’t want to be up on him too much because he’s so fast. He’ll run around anybody in this league. You have to be aggressive but you also have to be smart.

“He’s like Barry Sanders. You wouldn’t want to run up on him all crazy in the backfield back in the day either. He’ll spin you around and get a touchdown. So you gotta be smart with it.”

High praise indeed.

  1. thekingdave - May 6, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    Kurt Helin- Obviously, I’m an NBA guy.

    Really? I never would have deducted that from this blog.

    • mytthor - May 6, 2011 at 2:23 AM

      How about deducing it instead of deducting it?

  2. davidly - May 6, 2011 at 6:31 AM

    Indeed, high praise. I have a great deal of respect for Barry Sanders – not least of which because I watched him play against my Bears two times a year for many seasons. He could have broken Payton’s record, but he stepped aside.

  3. victoritis - May 6, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Can anyone explain to me what a “pin-down” and “floppy action” are?

    Bonus points if can you do it without the obligatory flopping joke

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