Rondo NBA's Most Compelling Player

Rondo NBA's Most Compelling Player

You need to watch more Rajon Rondo. Maybe you already watch Rondo; maybe you've watched him for years; maybe you're trapped under a sheet of ice in the NHL playoffs. But something stirring is happening with the Boston Celtics point guard. Rondo, 26, has been an elite player in the NBA for a few years; he's already won a championship ring; but lately, he's been pushing into a level of virtuosity that's new and rare and wildly entertaining. The triple-doubles and funny-number stat sheets are accumulating (Rondo closed the season with 24 straight games with 10 or more assists) but his quirky talent must be witnessed to be understood; there are at least four or five times in every game that he does something that no other player can do quite like him. Maybe it's that behind-the-back pass that isn't really a behind-the-back pass, but a fake behind-the-back pass, which freezes a defense, like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, allowing Rondo to recoil a long arm and drop an easy dish. Maybe it's the way he plunges into heavy traffic toward the basket, full-speed, almost reckless, before emerging on the other side for a layup—a sports car zooming through a covered bridge. Rondo is one of those athletes for whom the action appears to unlock itself a beat-and-a-half faster. He can be exhilarating.

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