I’m a Rajon Rondo fan. I wanted to get that out of the way. That dude who came in and carved up the Celtics last night is one hell of a player. His grit, determination, attitude – all of those Boston area buzzwords – are admirable. He is one of, if not my favorite, point guards.
But that dude hasn’t been on the Celtics in a long time.
Yeah, he’d show up now and then. On Sundays. If the team was broadcast nationally (ABC Sunday Rondo) those would be the fun ones. Those would be the triple-double games; the games when he would, apparently, play defense; those would be the games I made sure I had nothing else to do because I knew the odds of watching some guy on our team go off were pretty damn high. A player like Rondo is and was all the difference between watching the game and getting updates sent to your phone.
I’ve grown close to my phone these past couple of seasons. Watching Rondo go from a brilliantly misunderstood artist to a blithely invested recluse has made me fully understand the pain of my New England sports-watching forefathers. I couldn’t do it all the time. He was supposed to be our next cornerstone. If Paul Pierce was “The Truth”, Rondo was going to be “The Message” (His actual nickname is disputed). But it never quite happened. Instead, he pouted (allegedly) and got the hell out. Leaving an entire city to look at the talent on the parquet and wonder “what next?”
I watched the highlights of the game when I woke up. I saw the ovations, the video, and a player previously thought awol show up in a different color uniform. All of it made me hate the current age of sports. Ever since Mariano Rivera did his farewell tour a couple of seasons prior, sports franchises across all sports have felt a need to ingratiate themselves in front on an athlete who is coming to see them for the first time or the last time. At what point did fans stop getting pissed off that their favorite players – who were still capable of playing – left their team?
The Celtics honored Rondo because they had to do it. It’s the current thing to do. But be honest with yourselves. How much better would it have been if the Celts simply put “thanks for bailing” on the big screen?
I might have watched that.