Boston Sports Radio, as well as some fans, have been in an uproar the past few days concerning Rajon Rondo’s absence from a team flight to Sacramento last weekend. Rondo missed the flight for a childish reason, to celebrate his birthday, but the heat Rondo is taking is outrageous. The only people who should be concerned with this issue are Rondo’s coach, his teammates, and GM Danny Ainge. As it should be, the issue is being handled internally. But, of course, people now feel the need to question Rondo’s character and, to an extent, even his game.
Whether Rondo had permission to miss the flight for a game he wasn’t going to play in, is a bit cloudy. But the fact remains, the backlash from the fan base is extremely unnecessary. Rondo was named the captain last month when he returned to the court a year after tearing his ACL. Similar injuries have kept players out for full seasons, as was the case with the Bulls’ Derrick Rose, but not Rondo. He worked his tail off to come back this season. He could have easily mailed it in this year, taking his time to come back to a team that clearly wouldn’t be hanging a banner at the end of the season. Instead he pushed himself, and showed his face while doing it. Rondo was on every road trip, something that was unheard of from injured players in the past (see- Kevin Garnett). Rondo was on the bench supporting his team, basically doing what a captain does.
But now he messed up once, and people want him hung out to dry for it. Let’s be clear, Rondo should have been on that flight, but the fact that this issue has surfaced shouldn’t be such a big deal to people. Rondo has been the model captain this season and maybe he is entitled to a little slip up once in a while. Through all this “turmoil”, nobody has yet to get a negative quote from his teammates, the same teammates he helped lead to a victory Wednesday night, by pouring in 22 points, on 8 of 14 shooting, while dishing out 11 assists. Yeah, what a terrible captain, let’s ship him out of town as soon as the season ends.
So if his teammates don’t have a beef with Rondo, why should you? In the end, maybe this will be a blessing in disguise. Maybe this will push Rondo to wave his giant middle finger to the radio stations and the fans. Maybe Rondo will step up his game even more, helping the C’s to a few more victories. But of course, all you “fans” who are criticizing Rondo are probably the same ones rooting for losses so the team can be rescued by an unproven 19-year old college player.