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In Praise of Rondo


As many of you know, this week was a great week for Rajon Rondo as his Boston Celtics won the NBA title. But to me, that accomplishment may have been secondary to another show of character by Rajon. One day after his Celtics had their victory parade in Boston, Rajon caught a flight at 6 am to arrive in Louisville to greet campers at his Rajon Rondo Basketball Camp on their last day. Rajon had scheduled his camp before he knew that the Finals would go into the week and thus he wasnt able to be there for the first few days. But Rajon thought it was important enough to make an appearance, that he left his Finals celebration with his team early, so as to make sure and arrive and greet those who came. It was a great gesture by Rajon, as it showed that he was able to place the interests of a group of kids who idolize him, over his own personal enjoyment.

While at UK, Rondo was a bit of a mystery. He suffered from the syndrome that most who are quiet and confident have…..they are mistaken for being arrogant or aloof. Rajon never seemed to fully embrace the UK tradition and had his run-ins with folks here and there during his time. But over the last couple of years, especially after talking with some of the former players that I have gotten to know, I have come tot he conclusion that Rajon was mostly misunderstood. Whereas he was once seen as the cause of chemistry issues, I have come to the conclusion that this judgment was misplaced and that he actually was very well liked by his teammates. His supposed cockiness was actually just shyness and the worst he could be accused of was an occasional lack of effort in practice situations. Rajon was much more of a “Bleed Blue” guy than we thought and his efforts at UK are to be commended.

I give Rajon a lot of credit for his gesture this week….but what has become more clear to me recently is that this isnt something new or out of character….this is just who Rajon is and I hope as time continues to move on, UK fans will realize what a special young man they had in Blue and White.

Article written by Matt Jones

27 responses to “In Praise of Rondo”

  1. slappy

    Great story about Rajon. Don’t think many guys would’ve done what he did.

  2. halldawg22

    Was he misunderstood when he knocked up Patrick Sparks girlfriend?

    Just kidding!

  3. Forrest4Three

    There was no mystery. There was just a coach who misused a world champion.

    Nice try…again

  4. Drewdown N ChiTown

    3) Let it go. It’s not your fault. Hey, 3, it’s not your fault. Buddy, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. No, seriously, 3, it’s not your fault. Really, it’s not your fault.

  5. halldawg22

    Why in the hell is there a UofL advertisement on this site?? Have you sold out Matt Jones?

  6. bigbwana

    And we’re also reminded of how much of an imbecile Tubby Smith was for never being able to connect with Rajon.

  7. Drewdown N ChiTown

    Yeah, Tubby was an imbecile… you people need to get a clue.

  8. meeksistheman

    I was disconnected with Rondo and I bet most fans were very happy and pleased with him. Tubby and Rondo had a disconnect. It isn’t that Tubby didn’t know how to use Rondo(Tubby was/is a good enough coach to realize Rondo’s strengths), he just refused to use Rondo in a way that Rondo would be at his best, for the sake of playing Tubby ball. That is what I like about Gillispie, he will let his talent/players determine his style of play. Except on defense which is a good defense anyways, like most college coaches who focus on defense.

    Rondo was always the fastest player on the court for both teams. He was always the most athletic, he always had the best handle on the court, and he always was in a league of his own at his position on the court.

    For a guy who couldn’t shot he sure did hit some big time/ clutch shots will at UK.

    Rondo also had to ability to make take over games, and more importantly he would have made guys like Crawford and Morris that much better if Tubby used Rondo correctly.

    #4 I understand where your coming from but this is the topic that Matt Jones started, and for that – there is nothing wrong bringing up Tubby’s failure with Rondo and Crawford at that, for the sake of the topic.

    Rondo always has a home at UK and in Kentucky. He was a very special player to me.

    by the way – this is kind of old news now but Orton’s dad was at UK working the father/son camp.

  9. meeksistheman

    #5 – I know what you mean but on the other hand it is kind of funny that UofL is helping to pay for a UK fansite. Thanks UofL, looks like even UofL might be jumping on the bandwagon. LOL just joking

  10. youngweezy13

    I know this is completely unrelated to the thread but just looked at and it says that Lance Stephenson definately has Kentucky in his final three. There’s been rumors that USC was involved instead of UK but heres the link of his final three.

  11. MuhlenberCountyCAT

    Maybe I just can’t remember. When did Rondo hit any big time clutch shots for UK? I remember Pat Sparks hitting many many big time shots, but can’t remember a single shot that Mr. Clutch Rondo hit.

  12. TimTamTavern

    #11 Since we are celebrating Rondo in this thread and not Patrick Sparks, here is a clip that might refresh your memory.

  13. UKisKing8

    Tubby did a great job of instillin the UK Pride.

  14. Matt Jones Jr.

    #11 he also hit the game winner against UCF.

  15. JimmyJam

    If Tubby would have actually DEVELOPED one of his players (which would been a miracle) Rondo would have been a stud in College. Instead, he wanted to play the 1940’s style of ball, pass 8 times before a shot, and no shooting until at least 3 seconds left on the clock.

  16. TimTamTavern

    #14 I forgot about that UCF game. Thanks for the reminder, I am sure that I will now have vivid and eerie flashbacks.

  17. UKCoryWildcat

    Rondo was one of my favs at UK and he would have done a heck of alot better under a better system. His SR yr at Oak Hill in a stretch of 3 games he avg. like 30 assist. He will have a few triple doubles in his career before its over with. His style of play kinda reminds me of Jason Kidd because he always got rbs, asst, and not alot of points every game.

  18. UKFAN26

    10 i’m kinda torn between Stephenson and watford..Stephenson would step right in and have a monsterous impact (but prolly for only 1 year). While on the the other hand, Watford wouldn’t have as great of an instant impact as Stephenson, but will prolly stay 3 or more years and develop into a GREAT player. I gues it’s just what type ur into (flashy one and done or solid 3-4 year player)

  19. timer2

    Has any UK player EVER had better stats in the NBA championship game?

  20. Forrest4Three

    4- SHUT UP

  21. bluegrasshoopsreport

    I was a student manager when Rondo was at UK, and I can attest to the fact that he was well-liked by everyone on the team. It is also true that Rajon wasn’t the best practice player and at times he wouldn’t give his best effort, which seemed to rub off on some of the other guys at times (Randolph Morris especially). But Rajon was not the problem on that team at all,there were a lot of chemistry issues stemming from the loss of Chuck Hayes’ leadership and having most of the talent coming from the sophomore class (Rondo, Morris, Crawford, Bradley). My point is Rondo wasn’t perfect when he was at UK, but he was an amazing talent and a stand up guy who just wanted to win. I hate to hear negative things said about Rajon because I know how good of a guy and a player that he is. Good article, Matt.

  22. chuckmashburn

    My oldest son was at CampRondo. He was very excited that Rondo showed up. He got an autograph, and got to speak with Rondo for a minute. The camp was cool too. Someone on here was saying Rondo didnt hit clutch shots but he hit a game winner at South Carolina, and had 25 clutch points against UL. He had 19 boards against WVU.

  23. » Blog Archive » Today’s Links 6/23

    […] Draft possibilities – Gary Forbes Bob McAdoo Nation Celtics pick rumors Kentucky Sports Radio In praise of Rondo The Big Green Machine Batum and Hibbert falling. Possible at 30? With title 17 in tow, next stop […]


    I changed my tune about Rondo when he came back for Joe & Ramel’s
    Senior Day. That really made an impression on me. I did not really
    think that he cared that much about KY until he did that. He has
    made every UK fan very proud this last year.

  25. ZW

    Anybody with two eyes, a modicum of basketball knowledge and who didn’t have their lips planted on OTS rear end knew that Rondo got the royal screw job from the previous staff AND a certain portion of the fanbase, who attempted to deflect blame from OTS onto Rondo for EVERYTHING that went wrong in the ’06-’07 season.

  26. ZW

    Make that the ’05-’06 season.

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