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Rajon Rondo: “ I think I’m the best point guard in the league”

Jul 18, 2012, 2:06 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Seven Getty Images

Rajon Rondo has never been lacking in self-confidence. A steady jumpshot? Yes. But not self-confidence.

Rondo is in Paris, not to check out the Tour de France but to be part of the Nike World Basketball Festival. Which if you’re going to go to a world basketball festival is a good place to have to go. While there Rondo spoke with News Basket Beafrica and CSNNE.com did the translation.

So Rondo, what will it take for you to be the best point guard in the league.

Like I said before, I have matured a lot and my game has also. I think I am one of the best playmakers in the league. I think I’m the best point guard in the league.

I like that he thinks that. You want your point guard to think like that.

He’s good. He’s not the best. He’s on a second tier, half a step behind Chris Paul and Deron Williams (And Paul is half a step ahead of D-Will). It’s hard to compare what Rondo does to how Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook play. But I wouldn’t want him to answer the question any other way.

Rondo answered a few other questions as well.

• On being a Celtic for his entire career: “I hope so. But it’s not up to me. Whatever happens happens.”

• On if he is a leader on the team: “I think so. My position as the point guard allows me to be a leader. Doc and I have worked together for six years now. I know what he wants, when he wants it. It’s up to me to relay that message on the court. Doc trusts me a lot, sometimes I know what he wants without him asking.”

• On Doc Rivers letting Rondo talk to the team during timeouts: “For two years, I’d say. I’ve gained a lot of trust in the last two years. I’ve matured, my game has evolved, and my teammates listen to me and that helps.”

  1. cakemixa - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    “I could be the best point guard in the NBA if I were dishing it out to Pierce, Garnett, and Allen.” – Random bum on the street.

  2. bobulated - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    “Whatever dude.” – Chris Paul, D-Will, D-Rose.

    • duane888 - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Lebron is the best PG in the league.

      He can play any position at any time, cuz he’s that good. Game 6 against Boston was a one man assault. He played every position on the floor.

    • truthhurtstoo - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      please….when will these old celticks shut up?

      • andyhr17 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM

        Last time I checked Rondo wasn’t old, and not even in his prime.

  3. jimeejohnson - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    I think he’s lying!

  4. dalucks - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    I agree with Rondo that he is the best point guard in the NBA. Just because the writer of this article thinks differently does not mean he is right and I am wrong, it just means we have a difference of opinion. This guy has the capability of getting a triple double every night and the Celtics success the three seasons have been due to his improvement each year.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      OK, maybe he’s NOT lying!

    • juanandonly24 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      I think Derek Fisher is the best point guard in the league

    • sasquash20 - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      He is right there with the top 4-5 in the league. I would go C.Paul, D.Rose, Rondo, D.Williams, and then Westbrook.

  5. thestudiokida - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Guys who think they’re the best whatever in the league say, “I’m the best point guard in the league.” not “I THINK I’m the best point guard in the league.”

    The guy is feeble minded.

    • LPad - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      “I think therefore I am”

    • davidly - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      So he thinks he thinks he’s the best point guard in the league?

  6. pmd5319 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    1. CP
    2. Rondo
    3. Nash
    4. Rose
    5. Westbrook

    CP is the best PG going right now. Look at the Hornets the season before he left, then look at them the season after he left. Look at Clips season before he got there, then look at them last season. Rose and Westbrook are great basketball players, but as PG’s, no thanks. There is no way for a team to reach it’s highest efficiency, potential with a PG that shoots 25-30 time a game. As for D-Will, he’s extremely over rated. Doesn’t dish like CP, Rondo or Nash and he can’t score like Rose or Westbrook.

    • letangusespertplus - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Rose is the best PG in the league. Maybe that will change after his injury but as of right now he’s the best.

      • sasquash20 - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM

        Got to take C.Paul as my top PG. Rose a very close 2nd.

    • chicitybulls - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      Rose IS the best pg in the league. People can thumbs down all they want but the fact of the matter is that Rose was the starting pg on the Olympic team and was again this year prior to his injury. And that decision is made by HOF basketball people. I’ll take their word over people that dont want to recognize his talent. He shoots a lot because that’s what’s required of him. If you knew him he would much rather pass than shoot if given the choice. If he played with a Durant like Westbrook does he would not shoot as much as he does now.

    • sasquash20 - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      Nash is so overrated. He isn’t top 10 in the league. He couldn’t cover a dead body with a blanket.

  7. dannymac17 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    “I think im the best worker in my office”-everyone said.

  8. stropcity - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    How many triple-doubles did the first tier point guards have? Did any of them lead the League in assists? And Rondo is a “second tier” PG? C’mmon

  9. fitzy187 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Rondo takes games over no doubt about it but he really can’t be compared to any other point guard. He is the best distributer in the nba and we all know he needs to work on his shot but he is the best fit for the celtics. He plays defense and seems to always put the ball in the right place. Best point guard in the nba I don’t know but he is in the top 5 and I’ll take that any day of the week.

  10. dforeman6 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Rondo has more triple double then CP3 & Dwill combined and is younger then both of them. He is the best PG. Dude battles harder then them too, not even a Celtics fan and I would take him on my team any day

  11. 91devinhester23 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    what? a few injuries and everyone forgets rose is by far the best pg in the league?

    • mavajo - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Rose is overrated. Excellent player, but his hype exceeds reality.

      Rondo is underrated. Playing with future hall of famers who people ignore are well past their prime, getting drafted 21st and nursing a lousy attitude has caused people to downplay just how good he is.

      I’ll give the nod to Chris Paul, but Rondo is tremendous. I personally consider them 1a and 1b — no PG in the league plays D like Rondo. That’s another reason Rondo gets underrated. He’s the best defensive point guard in a league whose fans constantly underrate defense. My brother-in-law thinks Carmelo is a better player than LeBron. Never mind that LeBron is better in almost every way — Carmelo’s awesome because can put up 50! Never mind that it took 43 shots.

      • chicitybulls - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:52 PM

        The guy only won ROY and MVP but he’s overrated? Ok. That’ll be your little secret mavajo. Proof anyone can post on a message board.

      • pglive21 - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        Except that Rondo’s biggest weakness, shooting, may be Chris Paul’s biggest strength. Not even close to 1A and 1B.
        If we’re just ranking players who play the PG spot (not necessarily true point guards, just their ability to play the game and make their team better in some form or another):

        1. Chris Paul
        2. D. Rose
        3t. R. Westbrook
        3t. Rondo
        5t. D. Williams
        5t. Tony Parker

        Nash’s best days are behind him and unfortunately his wretched defense offsets nearly everything he gives you on the other end.

      • davidly - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        @chicitybulls:
        Not that I agree or disagree, but the fact that he won ROY and MVP lends support to the argument, because those are awards based upon how someone is “rated”.

  12. misterdreamer119 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    He is the best my opinion. All around game. Rebounds, steals, assists, attacking the rim. He has a halfway decent jumper. Main weakness is shooting the 3. He is improving.

    Imagine him on the Heats, Lakers, Thunders! They all improve vastly. Paul and Williams have peaked.
    Westbrook and Rose are shooting guards people they are not trie PGs.

  13. jrod2173 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    I think Rondo has an argument. Westbrook and Rose are no where near as good as Rondo when it comes to facilitating an offense and setting up his teammates. Are they better scorers? Yes. But they don’t rebound, or play defense anywhere near the way Rondo does. And Rondo can score when he needs to, and as his jump shot gets better he will only further himself from them.

    Nash is to old and a horrible defender and rebounder. In his prime he was better than Rondo, not now.

    D Will is great all around PG, but he really doesn’t excel in any one area. Better scrorer than Rondo? Yes. Better passer? No, but still a great passer. Has the size to be a good defender, yet doesn’t show it. His rebounding ability is no where near Rondo’s. Close, but Rondo is the better all around player all though not as “sexy”.

    CP3 is the only PG that can be considered better than Rondo. He is a much better scorer and equally as good a facilitator, probably better. He is a solid defender and always is among the top leaders in steals. Yet he will never be the rebounder Rondo is.

    All in all, as of right now, CP3 is the best PG in the league. But Rondo is not far behind. Once that jump shot becomes more consistent he will run away with it as the best ALL-AROUND PG in the league.

  14. alildusty - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Rondo has shown improvements to his game every year. I remember when I use to cringe every time he went up for a layup because he would do his behind the back fake and then MISS.the lay up. He showed this year that he can become a better jumpshooter and if he continues that I think he is the best pg in the league. Aside from maybe Westbrook no one else in that group is able to rebound and get looseballs like him.

    TL:DR He can match up with everyone of of those other top pgs at getting to the rim, passing, speed, steals/defense. Rondo rebounds better than them but just needs a slightly better midrange game.

  15. loungefly74 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    …I want my guy saying that. i have no problem with rondo saying that. nothing wrong at all.

    …and to analyze this a bit different for the fun of it, lets think about this…Rondo has had more success than the 4 other guys PUT TOGETHER…(paul, westbrook, williams, and rose) in the sense that he has a ring…been to the Finals twice…and no, i don’t believe the arguement of “well…he is on boston with those great guys, etc, etc…” no, no, no…we don’t fault jerry rice or montana, do we? we can’t discredit his success based off of that arguement. i don’t buy that. BUT that’s just one way to see his ppoint, not saying its the end all be all of points…

    …also…i’m a Laker fan…rondo scares the heck out of me. he may not be the best shooter but he is deadly in many other ways…

    …one more thing…i also expect rose, westbrook, nash, paul, williams, rubio, etc…to say the same thing.

  16. tkels78 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Guys he carried the celtics on his back punkng the heat on his own to game7 with sick numbers. And if ray Allen would have chimed in a little they would have one. I think right now he is the best pg in the league

    • dko83 - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Agreed, sir!

    • truthhurtstoo - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      Do you remember they lost big to the HEAT? He was there to FAIL in the end for certain game 6 & 7

  17. cantonbound13 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    He’s good, not quite the best. It would help if he could shoot a jumper.

  18. kelvinmchale - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Facts are facts, Rondo is the only PG mentioned above who was a starter on a championship team. Dude’s got a ring and almost got a second one. If he can ever hit his jumper and threes consistently, he’s a hall of famer.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      At that point (2008), he was widely considered to be the 4th best player on the team. That’s why the ring argument is stupid. Arguably, once he became the outright leader on the Celtics, he can’t get into the Finals.

      The Celtics go as Kevin Garnett goes. I hate him and his attitude but he’s such a difference maker on the court.

      Rondo is easily a top-5 PG in the league. But fact is, he plays with the best 3pt shooter of all time, the best jump-shooting big man of all time (save for Nowitzki), and one of the better overall shooters in the league in Paul Pierce. Even the other starter (Brandon Bass) is a very good shooter.
      All those shooters work to open up lanes for him (which he otherwise couldn’t do b/c he cant shoot). If you were to put him in Chris Paul’s situation, for example, defenses would be focused on him. Constant double teams. And you can’t jsut pass the ball to Blake Griffin and expect him to bail you out with a jumper. Griffin, Jordan, etc. need the ball in the right places to be effective, whereas the Celtics players can basically score from anywhere on the court because they can shoot.

    • anythingbutyanks - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM

      I’m surprised people continue to try to make this argument. Championships are won by teams, not individuals, so ring counts are marginally useful as a way of comparing individual players. Paul playing for the Celts during the past 5 years probably would have won a championship as well, and maybe 2 or 3. Even Williams probably would have won one. Your argument discredits all-time greats like John Stockton and means we should at least consider Chalmers as a peer to Rondo. I’m not buying it. As for the HOF question, I think consistently playing at his current level for at least 6 more years probably makes him a HOFer even if he never finds a consistent shooting stroke.

  19. allthewaylive1 - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Rondo is one of the best point guards in the league, but he has no class…

  20. chargerdillon - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    PG’s better than Rondo:
    D-Will, Nash, Rose, Westbrook, Paul

    My opinion is he’s not even top 5. His body of work suggests he’s played with players much better at their position than he is at his.

    When KG was injured, the Celtics choked. When Ray Allen was injured, the Celtics choked. All this while the so called best PG in the game was on the court being a headcase.

    Biggest mistake the Celtics made was booting Perk and not Rondo

    • borderline1988 - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      you can’t argue that not booting Rondo was a bad idea…his production is incredible and is a top-5 PG in the league.
      I think he’s better than Rose and D-Will for instance, but not Paul or Nash, or even Parker for that matter.
      He’s still a cornerstone piece, that, with the right pieces, can bring you a championship. Certainly, he’s way more valuable to a team than Perkins. Perkins is overrated…guy can defend back to the basket bigs, but pretty much do nothing else on the court.

  21. xelcid - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Regardless of the debate, Rondo, CP3, Rose… You can’t go wrong with any of them. Sure you will have to tweak your offense a bit, but there really isn’t a wrong answer.

  22. ccshocktalk - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Best point guard in the league? I guess it depends on how you look at it. And having the most thumbs up, doesn’t mean you’re right, just means the Celtic fans are trolling the article haha.

    Positions in the NBA today are not what they used to be…the best point guards in the league have been the ones that can facilitate an offense and create their own shots as well. Rondo fits the old style PG model which is great he’s a triple double machine which makes him elite. He spreads the floor and teams respect his passing, defense and speed.

    Most of the other elite “point guards” are more I a 1 & 2 guard combo…facilitate the offense or create their own offense. PG’s that do that are CP, Nash, Rose, Westbrook, Parker, and that’s about it. The other point guards that are very good but are true traditional point guards (and great point guards at that) are Rondo & D-will…it’s hard to say who the best is, I think the only thing that matters is who is best for their system and their team.

    Bulls, Thunder, Spurs, Clips expect their PG’s to score 15-20 points a game and 6-10 dimes, run the offense, celtics and Brooklyn nets rely on rondo and Williams to run the offense and pick up10-12 points and 10-12 dimes…the clerics use rondos spead and passing ability to break down other teams and open the floor, the bulls, clips, thunder rely on their point guards scoring ability (accurate shooting included) to open up the floor along with their passing and speed…

    At the end of the day stats won’t tell you everything, and it comes down to who fits in best where. D-will may not help the celts as much as rondo does and rondo may not help the thunder as much as Westbrook does…they’re all elite and have their own skill sets that are magnified by the system they play in.

  23. charlutes - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I have no bias…I am not a Celtics fan…I think I agree with Rondo, with the exception of Steve Nash and Tony Parker. For my money, for one game, or even one year those are my top three.

  24. trybe29dr - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Apparently shooting percentage isnt considered in the Rondo book of Point Guards

    • jjordannba - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Do you mean just shooting period, because his FG % isn’t bad

  25. 420hippy - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    and joe flacco thinks hes the best qb :)

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