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Rajon Rondo explains why he is best point guard in NBA

Oct 10, 2012, 2:58 PM EDT

Rajon Rondo AP

Rajon Rondo is convinced he is the best point guard in the NBA. We’ve heard him say it before, laughed to ourselves (or rolled our eyes), patted him on the back and said, “sure you are, kid” then moved on.

But Rondo isn’t backing down.

And in the cover story of the current edition of Boston Common Magazine (which I was pointed to by WEEI and SLAM, because I let my subscription lapse) Rondo detailed why he is the man.

“It’s always the whole package,” he says. “Some fans look at a point guard and say he had 26 points, seven assists, and eight rebounds, and they’ll say he had a great game. But there is a lot of talent in the NBA, and eventually that talent catches up with you. The mental game is where it’s at. I would say the game is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical, for me at least. What separates great players from good ones is performing consistently. I can dominate the game in any number of ways, not just with the numbers.”

“My definition of what a good point guard is might be different from what some others might think,” he says. “I’ll give you an example: If [head coach] Doc Rivers gets thrown out, I can run the team for the rest of the game. I know what plays to call, what sets to call, or when to call time outs. It’s more than keeping track of the score. There is so much more going on that you take for granted on any given night, and there are only so many guys who can run a team when you don’t have a coach. In that category I think I am the best at what I do.”

The problem with the “who is best” argument is you end up with an elite point guard like Rondo and you have to tear him down. And we shouldn’t, we should celebrate the fact that Rondo is very good at controlling the flow of the game, that he is a very good defender. Rondo is a great fit for the Celtics (and has looked like a confident leader through a couple preseason games).

But Chris Paul does all that and is a better shooter. He is actually as good or better at controlling the tempo of the game, of playing chess to everyone else’s checkers. And while Rondo can take over a game if Rivers gets tossed, CP3 has Vinny Del Negro on the sidelines every night.

But we are splitting hairs here. Paul, Rondo, Deron Williams are on their own level (Steve Nash is step back to me due to his defense and age). I’d put CP3 at the head of the pack, but it’s not a big step. And as we’ve said before, I wouldn’t want Rondo to think any other way than that he is the best.

Man, we really need some games to start breaking down.

  1. GT - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Elite, yes. Maybe top 3, yes. Best currently playing, debatable. Best ever Celtics PG, also debatable.

  2. succulentnipples - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    No. He is not.

    • hehateme2 - Oct 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      It must be a green color. They’re becoming the NBA jets. All talk with little to back it up.

      • jjordannba - Oct 10, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Bozo it looks like you have some competition for the most ridiculous Anti-Celtics posts on here.

      • jjordannba - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM

        I mean did you really just compare the Celtics to the Jets? Gimme one season since the Big 3 era till now that the Celtics didn’t deliver on or exceed expectations…..that sounds more like the Knicks in the past 2 seasons so maybe it’s a New York thing.

      • bozosforall - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:56 PM

        Celtics have ONE measly title in the last quarter century…Lakers have TEN. THE Puh C’s and their fans are the ridiculous ones, idiot Puh C fan.

  3. readysethike - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    kurt…u didnt consider anything he said ur so stuck on whether hes a better shooter…this site needs better writers

    • b7p19 - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      I’ll leave the better writer comment alone, because maybe it does. However, he totally DID consider what he said and he disagreed with it very clearly. Hence… “But Chris Paul does all that and is a better shooter. He is actually as good or better at controlling the tempo of the game, of playing chess to everyone else’s checkers. And while Rondo can take over a game if Rivers gets tossed, CP3 has Vinny Del Negro on the sidelines every night.”

      Note the “Chris Paul does all that…” part. So, he’s saying Chris Paul is better at what Rondo says he’s best at AND he’s a better shooter.

    • florida727 - Oct 10, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      Maybe it’s just me, but when someone criticizes a writer, but then writes their own comments abbreviating YOU with a single letter, or YOU’RE with two letters, or leaves out proper punctuation when referring to the contracted version of HE IS, something in me just immediately discounts anything that person has to say.

      Kurt, nice article. Personally, I don’t think Rondo is that good. Tell him to self-promote once he acquires a legitimate jump shot. Best defense again him? Play back 5-6 feet off of him and dare him to shoot an outside shot. You’ll win the game… every time.

      • andyoursistertoo - Oct 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM

        Of course you like this article Florida , Kurt is so used to giving the Miami heat perpetual tounge baths why would you disagree. But when Mario chalmers says he’s one of the top 5 point guards in the league ( which is an absolute farce ) you don’t hear about it , or Kurt always turns a blind eye. Just understand Erik spolstra said it rondo is the hardest person to defend. Couple years ago he single handedly carried the celtics and outdueld derick rose in the playoffs. And he always wants to improve his game , which is in my opinion seperates him from rest of the elites in the league.

      • eventhorizon04 - Oct 10, 2012 at 8:59 PM

        andyoursistertoo wrote – ” But when Mario chalmers says he’s one of the top 5 point guards in the league ( which is an absolute farce ) you don’t hear about it , or Kurt always turns a blind eye. ”

        It was reported on this site that Chalmers said that –

        It kind of ruins your credibility when you say something factually incorrect.

        And your username “andyoursistertoo ” doesn’t help

      • florida727 - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:44 AM

        Guess again, Andy. I’m from Chicago. Lifelong Bulls fan. Covered them for a sports radio station one year, back during their first three-peat with Jordan. Kind of f—s up your sophomoric argument, doesn’t it?

  4. baymac408 - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Rondo needs to shut his mouth little alien looking kid.. You aren’t on deron Williams level or Steve Nash not even on Kyrie Irving’s level.. Learn how to shoot bro you can’t!! All you got is speed you hold the ball to long most the time and kill the play

  5. luciusaj - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Derrick Rose isn’t in this conversation anymore??

    • joshm5683 - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      I think Derrick Rose is probably the most explosive player but like Russell Westbrook probably isn’t a true PG. I never thought much of Rondo until last year’s EC Finals and he had played pretty much the whole game and Lebron was clearing out and going against Rondo 1 on 1 and Rondo was yelling at hime to bring it…….I got a lot of respect for him then.

      I agree that CP3 is probably the best PG in the game, but as far as pure PG I’d take Nash or Rondo over Derron Williams. Nash dragged a bunch of garbage around and almost made the playoffs, Rondo helped his team overachieve and get into the EC Finals……Williams had fairly poor stats on a team that drafted in the lottery and his teams in Utah were nothing too amazing either, I dunno……personally I think D.Will is a tad overrated.

      • chicitybulls - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        It disturbs me when people try to put Westbrook and Rose on the same level or try to diminish Rose by saying he’s not a true pg. He is. He’d much rather pass than shoot but he’s doing what he has to do on the team he’s on. A team many people say dont have enough scoring. So if the team doesnt have enough scoring you want one of the better scorers on the team to score less? People should watch the games.

      • luciusaj - Oct 10, 2012 at 8:09 PM

        Agreed he is not a traditional PG but I think he still belongs in the conversation.

    • mbhcu98 - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:18 AM

      I think this is the year Rondo truly becomes the best PG in the game. I think his jumper will be improved this year. It improved last year, especially in the playoffs. At present, I put CP3, DWill and Rondo at even. Rondo plays better defense than both of them. He passes better or equal to CP3 and better than DWill. No one runs a team better than Rondo, at least none of them has led a team to a ship like Rondo. The only place that either CP3 or DWill are better than Rondo is at the jumpshot. Nothing else. Neither DWill or CP3 can get into the lane better than Rondo and that’s without a consistent jumper. They are all very good PGs but, if Rondo’s jumper improves again, then he is the best PG in the game. At worst, no one is better.

  6. stadix093 - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    I’ll take D Will, D Rose and CP first. Hell maybe even Kyrie by the end of the season, that guys a monster. Not hating though, Rondo is real real good and a joy to watch.

  7. Richard Phillips - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Rondo’s good, but anyone who is on self-check most of the game can’t be the best.

    • brendan355 - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      self check meaning they don’t guard him? ask the sixers how that worked out as he dropped 45 on them

  8. brendan355 - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Rondo is the best. Somebody please point out the time that CP3, D Will, or D. Rose put a team on their back and carried them to the finals. None of these guys have ever even been to the finals, have they been to a conference final even? It’s basketball, you can carry a team in this sport. Rondo is 2nd all time to Magic Johnson in career playoff triple doubles and plays better defense than any of these guys. To the writer, how do you figure CP3 does these things better than Rondo especially since this was his first year in LA. You think he has a better grasp for the players, coaching philosophy and system after 1 season??? Lastly, to the guy who says Irving will pass him up…..I am a Duke fan and you, my friend, have to be drunk to say something so silly. I love CP3, he’s a great, great player but if he doesn’t start winning something soon he will start to be considered a guy who is great but can’t get his team to the next level. Rondo put a bunch of old guys on his back last year and was 1 quarter away from getting them to the finals. He averaged 20.9 pts, 11.3 assists, 6.9 rb and shot 49% from the field against the best defense in the league in Miami. Put that with his 17.3 pts, 11.9 assists, 6.9 rbs career playoff average and this argument isn’t close. CP3 is the only one you can even make an argument for and I’ll agree they are very close but I’ll give the nod to the guy who has gotten it done on the biggest stage againt the best the league has to offer year in and year out.


    • Kurt Helin - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

      Rondo carried the Celtics? Their defense carried them led by KG.

  9. johnheisman - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    I’ll take Rondo running the offense over any guard in the league. No one does it better and that is a point guard’s #1 job. Rondo is the best passer in the league and a superior ball handler. No one can stay in fornt of him.

    BTW, this year Rondo finally has some players that can run and keep up with him and the Celtics offense will be impossible to stop on the break.

    Every year Rondo gets better and the bigger the game, the better he plays. In my opinion the 2nd best player in the playoffs last year was Rondo.

  10. dls612 - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    At first I thought he was just confident, but now it seems he’s a little bit cocky!

  11. lucidsportsfan - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Rondo has yet to miss a free throw this preseason. If this is the year he’s learned to shoot, then it’s hard to argue with him.

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM

      Rondo has gone 8 for 8 in 2 preseason games, and you think that means he’s a good jump shooter?

      Don’t expect too many visitors to your blog…

  12. jjordannba - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Let me just point out a few things here. The media and all say Rondo isn’t the best PG because he only gets up for the big games which he does. In the reg. season he’ll have a monster game on National TV and then put up a not so amazing stat line against the Pistons the next day. But near the end of the reg season Rondo had 27 consecutive games with double digit assist, that’s half the season. Now I’ll go back to the Rondo only get up for big games thing. Every game in the playoffs is a big game right? In the Playoffs There is NO PG better than Rajon Rondo. Last season he was arguably the 3rd best player in the playoffs. They say Rondo can’t score he can only pass, but in the playoffs Rondo averaged 17.3ppg and 12apg. But in the ECF where it mattered most he averaged 21ppg 12apg, and 7rpg. Also in that series he showed that his shot is continuing to improve as it has each year.(look out) Each season he improves in the playoffs in 09 he nearly averaged a Triple-double in that Bulls series that went 7 games. Rondo is THEE PG of the Playoffs.

  13. jjordannba - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Rondo also had 10 Triple-Doubles last season more all other players in the league combined. He has 23 Total Career triple-doubles in 6 seasons

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Funny that Rondo fans always talk about triple doubles, and intentionally never mention Rondo’s field goal percentage, free throw percentage, or average points per game…I wonder why?

      I’ll add them – 44% from the field*, 23% from the 3-point arc, 59.7% from the free throw line (borderline Shaq-like), and 12 points per game.

      *44% is really bad when you consider he shoots so infrequently, and when he does, it’s mainly layups

      • bozosforall - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:05 AM

        Post of the day…nice research, eventhorizon04.

  14. basketballguy5 - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    there’s no point guard in the NBA now nor any player in the league right now that can put up the type of numbers rondo put up

  15. j0esixpack - Oct 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I’ve got no problem with players who dream big, and have lofty goals – but pretty much every Celtics fan would have no problem saying to Rondo’s face -“Prove it”

    • bozosforall - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM

      You Puh C’s fans like to act tough, but Rondo would punch you chumps in the face if you dared to mouth off to him. STHU, joesuxd!ck and go home to your mommy.

      • j0esixpack - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:55 PM

        How sick does someone have to be to stalk nearly every Celtics fan comment with a poorly concealed self-loathing gay rant?

        I have no problem if bozosforall likes having sex with other men – he just should stop kidding himself that his constant attempt to disparage his own hom0-er0tic fantasies is fooling anyone but himself.

      • j0esixpack - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        How sick does someone have to be to stalk nearly every Celtics fan comment with a poorly concealed self-loathing gay rant?

        I have no problem if bozosforall fantasizes about men and d!cks – he just should stop kidding himself that his constant attempt to disparage his own hom0-er0tic fantasies is fooling anyone but himself.

      • bozosforall - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:24 AM

        Nearly every Celtic comment? I’m hardly ever here, so that is a gross overstatement. You might wanna call out your Puh Cs buddy, paulhargis, though for stalking…since he is the biggest stalker here. NE/Boston sports fans are the biggest chumps around. Also the biggest hypocrites.

  16. lakerluver - Oct 10, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Idk if he’s the best, but he is a great player. I hate the Celtics, and always have, but I can still give credit where it’s due. See how easy that is, LAKER haters.

  17. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Rondo is great. There’s no answer for him. He’s the one guy in the world you can’t just day, “Lebron, go make him look like a JV player”.
    Rondo’s a jerk, but the kid can play.

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      Rondo is very athletic, a gifted passer, a good defender, an elite rebounder for his position, and a terrible shooter.

      Nobody ever talks about his free throw percentage last year being below 60% – look it up if you don’t believe me.

      It’s not just that CP3 is a better jump shooter than Rondo.
      It’s that Rondo is an AWFUL jump-shooter.

      Scoring is secondary to playmaking, so Rondo can still be classified as an elite point guard, but until he can help his team by being a threat to shoot open jumpers, it’s impossible to argue that he’s the best point guard in the NBA when you have guys like CP3 playing, who give you playmaking, defense, AND jump shooting.

  18. 2nhalfsteps - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Reblogged this on 2nhalfsteps.

  19. bozosforall - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Rondo must be extremely flexible, because every time he opens his mouth, he shows the world that he is adept at sucking himself off.

  20. darbley73 - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Typically if someone has to tell you that they are the best, they aren’t.

  21. savvybynature - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Rondo is sick. People don’t look at defense, but he is a better on-man defender than Rose, Williams, Paul or Nash.
    An elite defender at his position and elite defender can’t be discounted because of less scoring. Plus he has stepped it up in big games.

    • savvybynature - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      *elite rebounder and defender*

  22. e39er - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    I agree, this year I look for Rondo to over take CP3, he’s the engine in the Celtic machine, as much as I hate the Celtics, you can’t deny Rondo and his improving jump shots, last year Lebron had to step up and guard him when Celtics were giving Miami fits, a lot of people don’t realize that while CP3 is good, he is constantly injured plus those knees don’t look too reliable on him either, I don’t consider Rose/Westbrook a true PG and Deron is clearly 3rd or 4th in the elite PG class

  23. elchief157 - Oct 11, 2012 at 5:38 AM

    He is the best point guard around

  24. reddolfan66 - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Can’t wait till the heat kick your ass again!! All I hear from this guy is I and me….

  25. paulhargis53 - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Bozo, you haven’t had Puh C, since Puh C had you.
    Don’t act like you haven’t tried to do what you accuse Rondo of doing. From what I hear, you’ve fallen off your couch several times trying. It’s just too bad you have an acorn there instead of an oak tree….

    It’s nice LA has 10 titles. In the immediate past though they are 1-8 in their last 2 playoff series. Nash, Hill & Howard all with back issues. Blake stepping on a spike. Kobe with a shoulder issue….

    It’s funny how you disappear when you get beat down. I’m sure you’re st Gobblers Knob when you aren’t on here, and I don’t mean the city either, you savage you.

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