Posts Tagged ‘Rajon Rondo’

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about baseball games these last couple of months. It’s only natural. Baseball is my favorite sport after all. I don’t feel like I’m doing anyone a disservice by writing solely about baseball, but a little variety now and then can’t hurt.

Basketball is not my game. I tried playing it when I was a kid and found that my two main skills, free throw shooting and fouling other players, weren’t a recipe for a star hoopster. Subsequently, I only enjoyed it when winning or losing didn’t matter to anyone involved. I loved playing 21 and horse during PE in both elementary and high school and to this day still love the idea of just shooting a ball around, not that I ever do. At the end of the day basketball is just a fun game that I can’t take seriously. At least I can’t take it seriously enough to watch others play.

That’s why I love NBA Jam.

It’s a basketball game that doesn’t take the sport seriously. While winning and losing may be a personal matter within the game, there’s no season riding on it. There are no teammates to ridicule or be ridiculed in the locker room after a blowout loss. There isn’t a shred of remorse or hurt feelings when a game is over. Just another couple of coins dumped into the slot. There have been several games released with the NBA Jam name, and many more similar games of varying quality under different titles. All hipster douchebaggary aside, the original arcade cabinet is still the best version available if you can find a place that has one. It had balanced teams and it just sounds and feels right. Plus it had Shaq and Barkley so there.

When you play NBA Jam on the original arcade cabinet, you are playing a caricature of one of the most exciting and storied times in basketball history. It was a time when old greats faced off against young new stars, new dynasties were being formed as old standbys crumbled, the NBA was taking chances by drafting new talent from Europe and for the first time sent its top stars up against the increasingly tough talent in the Olympic games. That’s not even mentioning that Micheal Jordan had just forced his name into the world’s collective consciousness, whether they liked it or not, by winning his third consecutive championship ring and five MVP awards in the process. (Two regular season, three finals.)

So why is NBA Jam still such a popular game? How has it endeared itself to so many fans? What’s the magic? What’s the trick? The gimmick? What’s the secret?

For one, it’s fast. The 3 minute quarters blink past without a care. It’s really a testament to how great a game is when people don’t even realize they are being duped into dumping extra coins in a game due to a fast counting clock. Then there’s the gameplay. Through all the shoving, turbo passes, flaming dunks, and shattered glass you don’t even realize how much time really goes by or how many games you’ve played. You put in your first quarter, you play, you look up and your pockets no longer jingle and its been three hours. What the hell?

Another reason people like NBA Jam is the flamboyantly comical art style and presentation. Between the static player photographs put on what seems to be a single body that is repeatedly pallet swapped and re-sized, and commentary provided by Tim Kitzrow it’s hard not to smile while you watch and listen to the game. Everything is so over the top that there’s no room for rational basketball rules. I mean, how do you call a foul in a game where you can set the net on fire with a dunk? How could you allow the game to stop just because the ball goes out of bounds when any given player jumps higher than the rim? You just can’t. It’s an arcade sports game at its core and NBA Jam does it so right, there’s no way to really improve it. Even the newest version on the Wii, PSN, and Xbox Live is just the same game with updated rosters and visuals.

There is, however, an underlying theory as to why people love NBA Jam. One that is buried within the confines of sports history and the evaluation of what was happening in basketball between 1991 and 1993. The 1980’s were a period of rising popularity for professional basketball. Starting in 1979 when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson entered the league, star player after star player emerged culminating in a virtual renaissance in the NBA. The 80’s saw the retirement of some of the game’s most storied players including Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Julius Irving, and Walt Frazier. But while these greats were taking a seat players like James Worthy, Isiah Thomas, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullen, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and Micheal Jordan were easily making names for themselves in a sport that was fast becoming a contender for the worlds most popular sport. Basketball was clearly evolving and it would take a loss on the world’s stage for America to understand just how far the sport had come.

In 1988 the US men’s basketball team finished third in the Olympics. Third. They lost to Russia and Yugoslavia. What was happening? All the time the US was sending college kids to play in the Olympics in basketball the rest of the world was sending its best players to compete and they were getting better every year. The best players from the United States were in the NBA and weren’t allowed to play in the games due to their professional status. In effect, that gave the US a huge disadvantage. Sure nine of the players on the Russian and Yugoslavian teams that beat the American team ended up playing for the NBA at some point and with varying success, you may remember Vlade Divac, Toni Kukoc, and Drazen Petrovic, but that was no excuse. So in 1989 when the worlds governing body over international basketball, the FIBA, decided it was cool to allow professional players to compete the stage was set for something crazy to happen.

The 1992 US men’s basketball team featured eleven NBA players and one guy from Duke (pfft they couldn’t get one more?). Not only did they tear up the world qualifying tournaments, beating the six teams they played by an average of 52 points, but they flew through the Olympics with ease. They averaged 117 points per game and beat the opposition by an average of 44 points per game to win the gold medal that year. It was a great moment in sports history and The Dream Team is one of only eight complete teams to be elected to the basketball hall of fame. Combine that with basketball’s general rising popularity and you have a country ready to eat up anything basketball related. NBA Jam couldn’t possibly fail in at atmosphere like that.

NBA Jam represents a time in sports history where everything was on an upswing and a time in video game history when new avenues of game development were being explored. These two elements combined to bring about a classic game that painted a bombastic and flashy picture of American culture. One that I dearly miss and has yet to be matched.

Stay tuned for part two, The ghosts of Reggie Lewis and Drazen Petrovic.

Boomshakalaka.

First things first: Happy Birthday, Shaq. We’re gonna talk about point guards today. You and Penny should’ve stayed together, man.

Point Guards run the offense, but right now the best ones are running the NBA and dominating debate on who’s number one. While East Coasters praise Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo as the league’s best, and everyone else claims Chris Paul as numero uno, I’m here to point out something that has somehow slipped under the radar of basketball talking heads this year: DERRICK ROSE IS THE REIGNING MVP! Oh, and the Bulls have the best record in the NBA. He put the team on his back again Sunday, but he was still overshadowed by other point guard performances around the league.

Deron Williams put up 57 Sunday (!), but keep in mind that it was against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats. And, Rondo needed overtime against the Knicks to assemble that monstrous triple double. Is Danny Ainge serious about trading him? That would be about as dumb as the time he got up in MJ’s face during the ’92 Finals…

The Big O revolutionized the position, but it used to be that you had to have a dominant center to win championships. Magic, still the undisputed best point guard of all-time, had Kareem. It wasn’t until Isiah won twice with his misfit centers and Jordan and the Bulls won six with the likes of Bill Cartwright, Will Perdue, Luc Longley and Big Bill Wennington that teams started to restructure the way they looked at the draft and the way they handled free agency to accommodate this shift in roster power. Teams started to build around game-changing point guards. The 76ers put all their eggs in the Iverson basket (and then subsequently turned him into an off guard). Steve Nash won two MVPs with the Suns (and burned out in the playoffs every year), shoot-first Chauncey Billups led the 2004 rag tag Pistons to a title. Frenchman Tony Parker was 2007’s Finals MVP.

Now we’re in an age where the debate rages on as to who is the NBA’s best point guard. Don’t get it twisted: an argument can be made for any of the clear-cut top five. The order in which they are arranged is the topic of discussion. Right now, D-Rose is on pace to become the greatest point guard, not of his era, but of all-time. He was the youngest MVP ever last year. He’s only 23 and in only his fourth season. His potential and unrelenting will to win put him in a class by himself. Some of the shots and layups he has the audacity to not only attempt but then hit are nothing short of spectacular on a regular basis. He hasn’t won a championship (yet), something only Rondo has done out of the group of point guards I’m bringing up in this column. Just to clarify, here’s how my current list of Top 5 NBA Point Guards looks:

5. Chris Paul: Honestly, I can’t stand this guy. The first time I ever saw him play in a game at Wake Forest, he cheap shot punched some kid in the nuts. Not cool, man. Not cool. That turn of events sort of stuck with me as he ascended to the NBA’s upper echelon of point guards. I only have him on this list because I have to. Fuck Lob City. 19.7 PPG, 8.3 APG, 3.5 RPG, 2.2 SPG Clippers are 22-14.

4. Russell Westbrook: With Kevin Durant on his side, these two have an opportunity to make Oklahoma City a legitimate contender for years to come. Westbrook’s play is a bit sporadic at times, but there’s no denying his explosiveness. A rare breed and lots of potential to stay on this list for years to come. 23.7 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.9 RPG, 1.7 SPG Thunder are 30-8.

3. Rajon Rondo: He has the heart of a champion, and that’s something I infinitely respect. Arguably, the best defender on this list, his creativity on the offensive side of the ball has allowed him to spread touches amongst The Big Three and keep them happy since their arrival in Boston. The lone NBA Champion on this list. 14.3 PPG, 10.2 APG, 5.4 RPG, 1.7 SPG Celtics are 19-17

2. Deron Williams: It’s too bad things turned out the way they did for him in Utah. Jerry Sloan could have shown him a thing or two. He seems stuck on a crappy New Jersey team now, but that sort of gives him the unparalleled opportunity to prove himself as a leader and a winner. However, since he left Illinois, I haven’t really seen either of those characteristics from him. His combination of strength, court vision, scoring ability, speed, passing prowess and ability to take over any given game make him number two though. 22.6 PPG, 8.2 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.1 SPG Nets are 12-26. Ouch.

1. Derrick Rose: Stacey King exclamations and Chicago bias aside, Derrick Rose is the youngest MVP in league history. None of the other members on this list have been MVP. Derrick Rose not only tops this list, but he defines the criteria of what a point guard, a leader should be. Who do you want on your team leading the way? The will to win, loyalty to team and the ability to takeover when need be (as he did Sunday in Philly and in the 2nd half last night against those annoying Pacers). Derrick has stated time and time again that he is about one thing, and that’s winning games and eventually a championship here in Chicago. 22.4 PPG, 7.7 APG, 3.3 RPG, 0.9 SPG Bulls are NBA best 32-8.

Who’s with me?

Ed’s note.
I am. 

The 61st Annual NBA ALL-Star game came and went over the weekend. Amidst all the Oscar buzz and red carpet glitz and glamor, did anyone even notice?

Seriously, who is scheduling these events nowadays? The NBA is fighting to regain its fan base and attract new ones simultaneously, and The Commish can’t even get his timing right? Good luck with that whole rebuilding process, Señor Stern. The schedule making powers that be failed to notice that Hollywood’s biggest night took place the same night? Really?

 

So many issues I have with today’s NBA. Lucky for me, the pros always outweigh the cons, and I continue to con myself into believing in basketball.


I heard they’re using this year’s game as a tutorial for young ballers to show them exactly what not to do when they step on the hardwood. Even Luol Deng, a premiere defender in my book, practically sprinted out of the way for Blake Griffin to obtain a perfectly clear dunking lane. C’mon, Lu! It’s your first ASG. Swat that shit to the first row! Seriously, the defense is absolutely atrocious. But you knew that before tuning in to watch. What I don’t know is how they got Thibs to patrol the East sideline with the game’s reputation being what it is. I was taking over/under bets on not if, but how many times Coach T would stroke out due to lack of defense. The West scored 88 points…by halftime (yes, that is a record). The Bulls have held opponents to less than that (in entire games) 18 times this  year! 


The West won the “game” 152-149 if anyone gives a shit. And Kevin Durant was the game’s MVP. He’s so slick.


There was a moment in the 3rd quarter when Kobe took it to the rim, and DWade fouled him. Hard. It was a shot to the nose- a playoff foul. I smiled a little. Actual defense. It was in apparent retaliation to a good defensive stop by Kobe against Wade on the other end of the floor. And then a little bit later, Kobe broke Mike’s all-time All Star scoring record. Damn. I guess I have to come to terms with Kobe being this generation’s version of the one we call His Airness. I suppose it’s better him than LeBron, he of the ringless, opportune turnover variety. A part of my basketball self dies with every MJ record that gets broken. 


Yes, the game actually came down to the final possession(s) and a little bit of my favorite elements of the game: defense and coaching. This reminded everyone watching why Tom Thibodeau is a master of both-reigning Coach of the Year-by ironically exposing LeBron, yet again, for what he truly is: an oligophrenic, overhyped failure when it matters. Why don’t him and overhyped, one dimensional forward  Blake Griffin just duke it out in the sky where they belong, making for a Dunk Contest someone would actually want to watch? That’d be one for the ages. Have Vince Carter, Mike, Dominique and Dr. J judge that shit. I’d watch. 

 

I’ve seen LeBron do things no other player is capable of, and I’ve seen him not do things a superstar of his caliber should be able to accomplish. Maybe he’s just not a professional winner.


And maybe The Flash is turning out to be more of a flash in the pan, after all. I like DWade because he’s a hometown guy, but for us to overthrow the Eastern Conference champions here in The Chi, we need his and LeBron’s weaknesses revealed in May. Too bad Thibs can’t be there to sabotage them again. Or can he? (Insert evil genius laugh here) 

 

When travelling, I often state that no matter how much I love a place that I happen to visit, I always, ALWAYS love returning home to my city of Chicago. I’ve been many places, many cool ass places, but Chicago is where I’ll stay, probably forever. I’ve got the flag tattooed on my arm and the lakeshore wind tattooed on my soul. I felt a similar sensation after watching the ASG on Sunday. I love watching the entertainment value of the game’s biggest stars. Despite all the hate toward it, the dunk contest is still cool to watch. The three point contest is timeless (still bitter about Hot Sauce’s snub). But no matter what (excluding Shaq and Penny in the mid ’90s), I’m never swayed to another team or out of town players. I’ll always bleed Chicago red and black. That’s why Luol’s limited run in his first appearance didn’t bother me. That’s why Derrick’s ridiculously massive shoe deal getting no talk from mainstream media all weekend didn’t affect me (you know if LeBron or Kobe signed that same deal, it would’ve been top news; difference being Derrick deserves every zero in that contract). Humility sort of comes with the territory ’round here, so when Chris Paul, Deron Williams, even Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook get mentioned as the L’s top point guards ahead of Chi Town’s Finest, we remember that it’s all about one thing: winning. That’s what we’re about in The WINdy City.

 

That’s why this is my kind of town.




 

It was almost fitting and poetic that the morning would start this way. My eyes bulged out of my skull, and in between the pounding headache and a head full of questions that have yet to have answers, I heard the faint sounds of morning sports talk radio emanating from a strange room nearby.

It was standard fare that you hear on most mornings. The Bulls won. Rose didn’t play. Blackhawks won. Rondo is an alien-looking fuck. For some odd reason I thought about baseball season too. Garza this and Garza that. And then the sports talk radio started to seem louder.

Where was I? What is the meaning of this madness, I thought. And as the morning fog began to clear, and the jogging of the memory started, I realized where I was.

“Fuck. This is Berwyn. I know it. I can feel it by the pounding headache and the empty feeling in my wallet. This has to be Berwyn,” I thought.

It was Berwyn. For good or ill. And now that I think about it, that sports talk radio was there last night too when I was tucking myself into bed. In fact, what the fuck is it with this sports radio? Jesus, give it a rest sometimes. People are trying to sleep. Number crunching should be done in the morning, for fucks sake.

One of the creators of Chicago, A Drinking Town with a Sports Problem let me crash at his place and left the 670AM The Score radio on at a loud volume throughout the night. I guess the man was absorbing vital statistics and you have to admire that type of commitment to sports. Hunter S. Thompson used to have the CNN on blaring 24-7 because he was absorbing politics and news. Sports news is not any different. It is important. In some circles.

And I started to question what I would be listening to if I had that type of passion. Probably porn non-stop, but that would start a weird relationship with my neighbors. You’d be throwing out the garbage and your neighbor would look at you strange. Either women are getting their kicks there, or some kind of an explicit pornographic gauntlet is happening. Yikes.

“No it’s a religious thing. They’re Sufis. I don’t know anything about it, do you?  Or maybe they are Catholics? They are always saying that ‘God, they are coming.’ I called a travel agent, but the weird vibe I got ended the conversation. They are packing their bags, I think, so the noise will subside soon. Either that, or I’ll get some headphones. Welcome to America,” I think I would say. There is nothing like friendly conversation when you’re throwing out the garbage.

But back to the matter at hand. The guys at A Drinking Town threw an official party on Feb. 16 in order to celebrate Michael Jordan’s birthday at Cigars and Stripes, 6715 W. Ogden Ave., in Berwyn. The real reason was to drink massive amounts of booze, but that’s just my opinion.

From all my visits to the City of Berwyn, only one thing is certain. This will not be a sober trip. Chances of something going awry are always possible and you would be a fool to assume that this would be smooth sailing.

Either way, the party that the boys threw at Cigars and Stripes was quite awesome. No pretentious bullshit here. Just good times. Good food. Good place. Good vibes. Good people.

Stripes is the type of a bar that the Cheers bar would have been like if you added fucking Rock ‘N’ Roll music, that Devil-may-care attitude, and of course, that wonderful selection of brews that you can’t get at any of the pretentious Hey-I-want to charge $10 for a fucking beer places you see in River North. Sometimes you need places like that when you want to impress some date, but other than that, no drink on Earth should cost that much. Unless you put some hot celebrity’s tits in it, I don’t want to pay that much for a whiskey sour.

Since the theme of the party was Jordan’s birthday, the sponsors tried to accommodate by attempting to show “Space Jam.” Of course, despite some technical difficulties, the movie started with Serbian subtitles. It would have been better if the subtitles were Croatian because then you could make a case that this was Toni Kukoc’s copy of the film. Hey, we were celebrating the 90s.

Serbian or not, I never realized how childish the movie was. But what do you expect from a movie starring the Looney Tunes? “Space Jam” still kicks ass in its own way. Frankly, because of the Quad City DJs.

And as loony as things got, the party proved to be a success. You have to admire a place that sells cigars and then lets you smoke them in the back of the bar in the open air. No bullshit here. I admire that. God only knows that there are places that sell you something that you can’t enjoy on the premises. We’ll call these places downtown money drains. Effete smoke shops. Righteous porn stores. Non-drinking strip clubs.

Lost that loving feeling?

Don’t fret. Even though the concept of a bar is to sell a hangover, the Drinking Town would like to go a step up above whining about the ordeal and offer some tips on how to deal with the alcoholic bullet that you shot into your fucking face last night. Who knows, maybe you got laid too, and are trying to cope together.

So if the roots haven’t settled yet, here are some tips on beating that hangover, brother.

  1. Drink more. Some people frown on it. We call those people pussies. Or gainfully employed people. Sure, as bad as that parched throat is, there is nothing better than having a beer to cure that malady. Any beer, if you can that is. No one recommends going to work operating on alcoholic beverages. This is not “Mad Men.” This is life. Save it for the weekend. Or don’t. Take a belt of the coffin varnish right now. Who is stopping you? Your boss? Tell him that you had a lot of money wagered on last night’s game and like an idiot, you bet AGAINST the Blackhawks.
  2. Bloody Mary. The God of drinks for a hangover. The Mary will provide you with the nutritional nourishment you need. Tomato is good for you. Vodka is good for you, according to some Polish circles. And that celery stick can be used as a shoehorn in case you need to put your shoes on in order to drive the kids to school.
  3. Eggs. Anything with eggs will help. You can have eggs with aspirin. Or aspirin with eggs. Whatever is better. Get a bagel involved into the affair and you have a relationship that only water or tea can ease. Tell them that if those sunny-side-up eggs end up slimy and undercooked again that you would never visit the establishment again. The economy is bad. People should take pride in their work.
  4. Work. Nothing like manual labor to sweat out the small stuff. If you’re reading this then you’re probably a man who feels the need to dig a hole or something for nothing. Just because. Do it. Dig a hole, fix a cabinet, mop the floor, change the oil on your car. Nothing like work to beat the hangover. Soundtrack should be classic rock. Ya know, to feel American.
  5. Sleep. There’s no denying the inevitable. You’re fucking tired. Go to sleep. Unless work is bogging you down, and for many it is not in this economy, go to sleep and enjoy your day off. Watch the shows that are on during the day time in between naps. Ya know, the classic shows like Maury. Or Jerry. And see how fucked those people are. It will make you feel better either way. “He didn’t mean to hit me, he’s a goo-ood man, don’t take him away. I fell asleep in the driveway and he run over my head with the truck. He’s a goo-ood man, he don’t mean no harm. He’s passed out under the trailer right now with his dog Skinner.” – Bill Hicks.

Some of these may sound bitter, but they are not. They are right on par with how you feel when you are hungover after a great party. And while the good times may have passed, and the body is starting to say no, just remember that there will always be a new game, the next game and a new chance at the plate, when the winner or loser will either sock it out of the park or eat it in the dugout. Yes, sports are important. Go play, fans.

But don’t think that this story doesn’t have a happy ending. Remember when I said that only a fool would think that Berwyn is smoothing sailing? Apparently the street-sweeping rules apply on Fridays. And that parking ticket only reinforces my belief in Murphy’s Law. Hey, kudos to the gentlemen police officers that took the time and effort to place the ticket next to my village of whatever sticker at 3 a.m. It was like one municipality talking to another. “Hey, we give out as many tickets as you do too!”

But hell, it was a good time in Berwyn, and as Thompson always said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

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Record for the week: 4-1
Overall record: 23-7

Did you know the Bulls went 6-3 on their road trip? It doesn’t seem like it, given the panic surrounding the team and the MVP. Back spasms have been bothering Rose and preventing him from hitting the court.

The Nets are awful

DWill wants out of New Jersey. He’s said this multiple times, he won’t sign an extension to stay in the garden state, and mentally it looks like he checked out. The Bulls light it up, shooting 55% from the field and coasting to an easy victory over a shitty team that Dwight Howard wants to play for. Because Dwight Howard is an idiot.

Seriously though, what the fuck is up with that Dude. “I wanna play in LA, I wanna play for the Nets, I wanna play anywhere I don’t have pressure to win.” The man sounds like he wants to be famous instead of being a great basketball player. Chicago is a great choice for him, if he desires to win. The Nets don’t have a roster, and the team he would end up being on would be an exact clone of Howard’s Orlando team. Bottom line, if Howard wants to win, he can win in Chicago. It would be a dynasty. I’d trade Deng to get Howard, it’s a no brainer.

The Hornets are awful too

I can’t think of many teams worse than the Hornets. Most of their team was hurt for this game, but mercy, they don’t hit open shots, they can’t defend, and they don’t rebound. It’s awful. This was one of the worst basketball games I’ve ever seen. The Bulls looked hungover, Chicago’s finest Brew was flat, and they still won by 30. The NBA needs to be fired for putting together this outfit, it makes me question whether Stern actually knows basketball at all.

Oh, this was the last game Rose played before back spasms flared up. This was after the turf toe issue. Rose is a tough kid, but this schedule is a killer.


This is only tangentially related. Charlotte is in North Carolina

Charlotte sucks ass.

I can’t think of many teams worse than the Bobcats. Most of their team was healthy for this game, but mercy, they don’t hit open shots, they can’t defend, and they don’t rebound. It’s awful. This was one of the worst basketball games I’ve ever seen. The Bulls looked tired and they still won by 30.

There are a few lessons I’ve learned from North Carolina.

  • Never trust a big butt and a cute smile. A big legged woman ain’t got no soul kids. Also, the beach is wonderful out there, but if you happen to have the misfortune of traveling down there with a girl you know isn’t worth the time, you may want to reconsider going. Emerald Isle is cool and all, but nothing puts a damper on your time like a spoiled rich chick.
  • Never date a Yankee fan, first sign of trouble that you have in life and they’ll start bitching at you for not being perfect.
  • Austin Rivers is gonna be a great pro. Dude has all the tricks in his bag, he knows how to draw a foul, he will be an All-Star 3 years into the league.
  • EmJeff has no clue how to pick talent. This is a trap that many greats fall into. Being a GM is hard, you can’t will your team to win from the GM’s box. You also can’t punch Steve Kerr to prove a point. Well, you can, but it might not get across the right way.
  • With all the commercials banning the word “gay” and it’s unfortunate cousin, we’ll call him Frankie, from NBA courts, when will the NBA push to ban the N word? Trust me, that’s the most used slur in the history of sports, but the NBA keeps mum on it. You hear it a lot at the NBA level, but no one has an issue with it. I’m curious, is that ok because they’re black? Or is there just an extreme level of hypocrisy going on here? Look, I’m all for gay rights (usual caveat), but athletes are dumb. And they say dumb things. All the time. Just because there’s a commercial out there telling you not to use gay as a slur, doesn’t mean it’ll stop. It won’t. And if the NBA really wanted to go after slurs in basketball, the N word would be first on the list. I don’t like pandering, and that’s what this seems like.
  • No really, stay away from spoiled rich chicks, it’s just a bad idea if you’re from a working class background. Different values and such. It gets annoying and then you have to do drastic things like make them hate you.

Oh Boston, you do wish he was white, don't you.

Ok, ok, Rondo is pretty good.

But fuck that guy. This one still hurts to talk about, I don’t like Rajon Rondo. I thought he got really overrated by ESPN, just like they overrate all PG’s not named Derrick Rose. Lin is next on this list, and trust me, you’ll have some saying he’s the best PG in the league by season’s end. Or second to Chris Paul. They’ll spout off something about being a true point, and that he plays like Nash or some bullshit.

Let’s clear this up right now, he’s getting major pub because he’s playing well, and he’s doing it in New York. The Knicks are still bad at basketball related things. Lin turns the ball over a lot, you can defend him, and his scoring impact will be deadened when Melo and Amare return.

Back to Rondo, seriously, fuck that alien.

Moe Rubio is going through the gauntlet and will post a Bulls related post every day for 12 days.

The grains of time is something that we’ve never fully understood in general. Our only concept of time is that of forwards and backwards, we can never view it in another manner. This is especially unfortunate for the Boston Celtics as they are quickly learning that Robert Frost’s quote about life also applies to time in that “it goes on.”

Indeed the sun is finally setting on the Boston Empire as the Big 3 plus Rondo are staring into the twilight of their long illustrious career which culminated in a Larry O’Brien trophy. That celebrations seems so long ago and in a completely different NBA landscape. LeBron was still “languishing” in Cleveland, Dirk was still a choker and Chicago had yet to even think about it’s future favorite son, let alone embrace him.

Boston is built on defense, spearheaded by Kevin Garnett. KG is the stabilizer for this team. The contributions that he has on offense and defense are plainly visible, but it is also the intimidation factor that weighs in to his contributions. This is the primary reason why the Celtics have probably already seen their championship window close.

What will become obvious in the truncated season is age. Boston will bear theirs in particularly painful ways as they will struggle to strike the balance between accumulating regular season wins and resting their aging talent. The Big 3 have all played long hard NBA minutes. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are no spring chickens. The aches and pains of the season will be compressed in a hellacious schedule that will demand fitness and will.

The mind will always be willing with the Celtics, it’s the body that is the concern. Rajon Rondo, who has been shopped around by Boston Brass, will have to bear more of the burden if he remains in Boston. The Celtics have already laid the framework for their rejuvenation period. They opted to get less girth and go for more athleticism in the Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green trade. They also traded Glen Davis for Brandon Bass as the future in beantown looks a bit uncertain.

The Bulls are better than the Celtics. The past anger for this team has shifted squarely on the shoulders of the real Big 3 in Miami. While I’ll remember what Rondo did to Kirk, Brad and crew in the best 1st round playoff series ever, I simply can’t hate them more than the Heat. The true competition in the East isn’t with the Celtics. Their days of vying for Eastern supremacy are over. The regular season has a good shot at eating them alive, and only smart long term coaching by Doc Rivers will rescue them from the jaws of fatigue and injury.

The Celtics primary concern moving forward is becoming clearer, they are aiming towards a smooth transition period between serious shots at contention without relying on the lottery. Ray Allen can still hit some big shots, but it’s looking like long odds that he’ll have the opportunity to do so in the near future.

Rather than focus on the dreary outlook for the C’s, let’s look at the evolution of Rajon Rondo from a youthful question mark to well-respected point guard. His journey is a peculiar one, Rondo spent two years at Kentucky and was then drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 draft. He was traded and then handed the keys to a dangerous machine by a desperate coach that was just given new life.

He totally looks like a cross dressing alien.

It was akin to giving a 16 year old the keys to a racing car, but even then you wouldn’t be doing justice to the 16 year old. Rondo was the question mark, the X factor of the Celtics championship run. No one denied his athletics, but his poor shooting would always be a concern. In the following season Rondo established himself as a legitimate NBA point guard, and worthy of starting with the Big 3. He nearly averaged a triple double during the playoffs and improved the shooting aspects of his game.

This was also the period of time that the Cult of Rondo was born. It’s my belief that Rajon Rondo became so underrated, he was overrated. This led to him being underrated again, as all of it came full cycle. Allow me to explain. We know now that Rajon Rondo is a good passer, an elite level passer in fact. We also are aware of his basketball IQ, but all of this took us by surprise, so we began to assign him titles that weren’t fair to him. This happened over the course of time and it came to a head early in the 2010-2011 season.

It was early in the eventual Rose MVP season and there were many discussions about who the best PG in the league was. Perhaps the most ludicrous placed Rajon Rondo at the top, it was by some ESPN guy that I can’t remember right now. It sparked a pretty heated debate that carried through the first half as Rajon Rondo was averaging 15 assists per game. It became painfully obvious as the season progressed that Rondo was not the best point guard in the NBA. Derrick Rose, Derron Williams, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook were all better.

It was this cycle that leaves a rather interesting question. Just how good is Rajon Rondo? His shortcomings are pretty well documented. He isn’t a great shooter, he is probably the worst free throw shooting guard in recorded NBA history and his particular brand of defense is, well, interesting to say the least.

But that’s only half the story, he is a brilliant NBA mind. I do think he has a career as a coach when he eventually retires. He knows how to get to the basket even if the route he takes is, unorthodox I suppose, and he doesn’t shy away from the big moment. He is something of an enigma. Where do you rank a bad shooter with a superb basketball IQ who knows how and when to pass?

And who like the same racing games I do.

I believe that Rondo is probably a top 15 player, but he is not a franchise changer. When you get Rajon Rondo your fortunes as a team don’t drastically change. He does things on the court that are important but aren’t easily visible. He involves his teammates, he plays smart defense and he is the sparkplug in the Boston engine.

Ultimately, it would be wise of the Celtics to move Rajon Rondo for either draft picks or expiring contracts. To do so would be an admission of defeat that would not sit well with Pierce, Allen and Garnett, but it needs to be done. Rondo isn’t a centerpiece, he is a supplement. He isn’t the reason you win games, but he can be the reason you don’t lose them, if that makes sense.

To clarify, he isn’t the type of player that adds wins when you acquire him, he’s just the type of player that will improve your team IQ and not make the stupid mistakes that lose you games. He is a safe bet, but in the land of giants, the midgets need to be a bit more daring to make noise.

And they better show up in some dragonscale armor. Giants are a bitch to deal with.