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At 26 years old and a mere six years into his professional career, Boston Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo is already being considered a future candidate for the Basketball Hall of Fame.
While averaging 13 points and 12.8 assists per game, and beginning the 2012-2013 regular season with 12 double-doubles is impressive, Rondo’s hot temper and mental lapses on the court are constant reminders that his spot in the Hall of Fame can’t be certain just yet.
Despite Doc Rivers declaring Rondo the most intelligent player he’s ever coached, Rondo is prone to careless mistakes and emotional outbursts. In 2011, he chest-bumped an official, threw the ball into another official’s stomach, and received eight technical fouls and an ejection.
Rondo’s recklessness was most recently displayed during the Celtics recent game against the Brooklyn Nets when Rondo went after Kris Humphries, after Humphries gave a hard foul to Kevin Garnett. Rondo, Humphries, and Nets player, Gerald Wallace, all were kicked out of the game.
While being ejected for standing up for your teammate may not initially seem like a bad idea, Rondo had 37 consecutive games with at least 10 assists, tied with John Stockton for the second-longest streak in NBA history. Rondo’s streak ended as soon as he was ejected. The Nets ultimately won 95-83. If Rondo could have controlled his temper, the game quite possibly could’ve turned out differently.
Despite his quick temper, Rondo’s stats and numbers don’t lie. In 2009-10, Rondo set the Celtics’ records for assists (794) and steals (189) in one season. In 2011 he led the league in the regular season with an average of 11.7 assists per game and recorded six triple-doubles. Additionally, Rondo’s speed, defense, endurance, and on-court knowledge make him a standout and well-rounded player.
Due to his relatively young age, general lack of experience as a team leader, and wild outbursts on the court, Rondo still needs to continue to mature as a player before he can be seriously considered Hall of Fame material.
While nothing is certain just yet, Rondo is definitely shaping up to be a serious contender for the Hall of Fame. As many players and coaches are singing his praises, Rondo still has a ways to go before anything is definite. If Rondo learns to control his temper and maintains his statistics, it is highly likely that his jersey will one day hang not only in the Celtics’ rafters, but also in Springfield at the Basketball Hall of Fame.