Originally written on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Picimg_boston_celtics_vs_3f14


One gets the feeling Rajon Rondo uses controversy like most use caffeine. He hears trade rumors and becomes a triple-double machine. Craig Sager asks him an innocent question about how the Celtics can handle rest and Rondo responds as if Sager just called his daughter ugly. Doris Burke asks him about Boston’s unexpected scoring binge and Rondo uses it as an excuse to call the Miami Heat crybabies. He might not always be so surly but in competition Rondo has an edge lined with spikes. If no controversy exists, he damn well might create one.

Rondo doesn’t care. He doesn’t care if you think he’s mean or if the Miami Heat think he’s an asshole or if Burke didn’t get the exact answer she was looking for. He doesn’t care if his comments get back to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He even wants them to get back to those guys. He is unruffled by time and score, unworried by opponents and completely comfortable with his own abilities. He can turn from uber-agressive to semi-passive to “tear-drop floater for the Game 4 win” in a moment’s notice. But he does care. He cares a lot. He cares about winning. And that’s why he builds controversy in places where it doesn’t exist.

When Michael Jordan was inducted to the Hall of Fame, his speech included several anecdotes about how his competitive spirit operates. He spoke about Leroy Smith, the player who made the varsity team over Jordan in his sophomore year of high school. He spoke of hearing about North Carolina teammate Buzz Peterson being high school Player of the Year. “Well, he ain’t never played against me,” Jordan thought. “Buzz became a dot on my board.” Jordan sought reasons to drive him, even if they included battling a teammate for headlines and supremacy. The greatest basketball player of all time didn’t thrive when the waters were clear and the sun was shining. He preferred the wind swirling, the waves crashing and rain drops pounding on his skull. And if that meant he occasionally had to strap on a head dress and partake in a rain dance, Jordan gladly climbed to the heavens with his paint brush and added storm clouds to the night sky.

Rondo likewise doesn’t like when it’s 75 degrees and the world is outside enjoying a beautiful day. He wants to brood and seethe and maybe even hate. He wants his opponents to loathe him so he can feed off their disdain. He wants to live in a world of constant challenges, so he paints a bulls-eye on his own chest for two of the world’s best basketball players to target.

With the Celtics ahead 93-91 on Miami’s final possession, needing one final stop to secure a Game 4 victory, Rondo — a relatively slender 6-foot-1 point guard — asked to defend Wade. “We knew they were going to Wade. I wanted to check him,” he told Doris Burke in a postgame interview. The decision to have Rondo guard Wade made little conventional sense considering that James had already fouled out and Boston had other defenders on the court, including Marquis Daniels and Mickael Pietrus, with more length and strength to bother Wade.

The Heat eventually ran a pick and pop which forced the Celtics to switch Daniels onto Wade, and Wade missed a good look as time expired. But Doc Rivers was comfortable sticking Rondo on Wade with the game, the series and the season in the balance. Rondo is flawed and he’s limited in certain fashions. But when the stakes are highest, he has his coach’s ultimate faith.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Report: Angels, Rangers talking Josh Hamilton trade

Roger Goodell calls both Los Angeles stadium plans 'viable'

Five-star hoops star Malik Newman commits to Miss State

Crabtree on joining Raiders: 'Ain't got nothing to lose'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Hardy gets in 'verbal altercation' with teammate

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

Report: Chris Sale wanted to fight Yordano Ventura

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Eagles VP Ed Marynowitz says he's not Chip Kelly's 'yes man'

Jonathan Papelbon wants out of Philadelphia

Steve Carell, Emma Stone to star in Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King film

Calipari’s new project: Create virtual reality experience for fans

Maurice Jones-Drew will retire with the Jaguars on Tuesday

Ovechkin jokes about taking a chair from Nassau Coliseum

Uniform colors have already been picked for Vegas NHL team

Golden State: Not losing to New Orleans, but still snoozing

Ventura, Royals need to simmer down before someone gets hurt

The Mets and their weak opponents

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

Dubs wanted to gain momentum for Game 4 ... then won

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

Dubs wanted to gain momentum for Game 4 ... then won

Teams who need to ace the NFL Draft

10 bold predictions for the NFL Draft

Ten things you need to know about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Dikembe in 2001: Who want to go to LA with me?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.