Chris Palmer has an article on ESPN Insider where he lists the top five glue guys in the NBA. He describes glue guys as players who accept any role, do the dirty work, have outstanding basketball instincts and promote team chemistry. They also have a willingness to sacrifice their own personal agenda in order to make the team better.
While Rajon Rondo may be much maligned in some corners for his petulance and sometimes losing his cool on the court, Palmer sees him as one of the top five in the league for keeping things together on their teams. James Harden, Shane Battier, Kyle Lowry and Andre Iguodala round out the group.
Here is Chris' case for Rondo being one of the top glue guys:
The glue guy isn't usually a team's best player. Normally his particular set of skills complements the franchise star and helps create an environment that allows him to do what he does. But in this case the Celtics are in the rare position of having their glue guy and their best player be one and the same.
Few franchise cornerstones collect floor burns the way Rondo does. His evolution into glue role began when the Celtics assembled the Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Rondo was charged with keeping them all happy by spreading the ball around and was subsequently pushed into a role in which the only thing else left to contribute was dirty work. Rondo has embraced the tough defensive assignments and gritty aspect of the game so much that the Celtics have depended on, and come to be defined by, his grit.
Doc Rivers calls him one of the smartest players he's ever coached, and Rondo uses that intelligence to expertly manage the game by keeping both role players and stars satisfied. Rondo can be mercurial, aloof and even prickly but his unique blend of aggressiveness, ingenuity and court awareness is sometimes all that holds Boston together.
Best glue ability: Hustle
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