Posts Tagged With: Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo’s Return to Boston

Boston is familiar to Rajon Rondo, but playing there Friday night won’t quite be the same. He won’t be rocking the same green and white uniform he’s worn since he was traded to the Celtics in 2006 shortly after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns. This time, he’ll be the opponent from Dallas wearing blue and white. Rondo admitted that the return will be somewhat emotional, but sought advice from former Celtics teammate Paul Pierce, who told him to “keep blinking when I look up so I don’t cry.”

Rondo was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 18 after rumors of him being traded have been swirling around for years. This time, the trade was official and completed with Rondo playing in his first game as a Mav just a few days later. Now, with six games under his belt on his new team and not even a month away from Boston, he’s back. Rondo will be greeted by former teammates, some of which he calls his friends. Jeff Green, for one, considers the point guard a good friend and said it will be “weird to see him in a different colored uniform.” He can also look forward to a video tribute and a warm welcome from fans, which will make it a little more difficult for him to keep his composure.

Though it wasn’t his choice, leaving Boston for Dallas is a better move for Rondo’s career and certainly increases his chances of adding to the lone championship he won as a Celtic in 2008. The Mavs have a more complete team to which he adds, as opposed to a young and rebuilding Celtic team, which includes a young Brad Stevens coach in his second year of coaching in the NBA.

As far as the game this evening, I see the Mavericks getting the road win, which will probably be bittersweet for Rondo. The win will be good for him and his new team, but in the back of his mind, Rondo can’t help but to forget about the Celtics team that made him the player he is today.

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Return of Rondo

If you didn’t believe the reports last week about Rajon Rondo coming back, the Celtics guard hinted about it via a tweet Monday night. The tweet simply said, “29,233,380 secs.” According to NBC Sports, this equates to the amount of time between his last game (Feb. 13, 2013) and when he is projected to return (Friday, January 17, 2014). Despite my lack of skills with math, I’d say that sounds about right.

Rondo’s first game will be against the Los Angeles Lakers at home Friday and I’m sure the Bostonians will give him a warm welcome back. Additionally, his return is huge for the Celtics team, which currently is ranked fourth in the Atlantic Division with a 13-26 record.

 

Categories: basketball, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, National Basketball Association, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Positive Players: Celebrating Philanthropy among Athletes

On Wednesday night, a young man by the name of Joshua Jones passed away after a battle with brain cancer.

He was first introduced to the media after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Matt Kemp gave him a signed ball, the jersey Kemp was wearing and a pair of shoes right off of Kemp’s feet. From that point on, the two became friends and when Jones died, Kemp took it hard.

At this moment, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is in Tanzania, hanging bed nets in huts as part of the anti-malaria program Nothing But Nets. He was away from his wife for their second anniversary and one-year-old daughter to go to Africa and help out people living in unimaginable conditions.

No one forced either of these men to do what they did, but they did it anyway.

Many times athletes are highlighted in the media for getting into legal trouble, leaving a party with a car full of women or trashing hotel rooms. Too often the positive actions are ignored or brushed over.

For the athletes, it is okay because they’re not doing it for public attention. However, as a sports fan, it is nice to see good behavior highlighted instead of the bad always being plastered across various media outlets,

This summer, when they could be practicing their game and preparing for their own season, players like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Nick Young, Rajon Rondo and even younger players like Ray McCallum, Trey Burke and Andre Drummond will be hosting summer basketball  camps for kids. These camps help kids to learn the fundamentals of basketball while having fun with the NBA players they idolize.

The only time people ever hear about these players doing this is when children are solicited to register for the camps. No one really pays attention to players who maintain clean records and invest more in philanthropy than partying. Why is that?

This is definitely something that needs to be changed. When younger viewers watch television and all they see are the athletes who get in trouble, what message does that send to them?

Recently, Johnny Manziel and Aaron Rodriguez have been in the news for doing things that are not considered positive. However, very few know about programs like Nothing But Nets or even NBA Cares. Players who have founded and/or participate in programs dedicated to helping others should be highlighted.

By doing this, it will show kids who look up to these men that you can be an athlete and still be positive. Spending more time helping others who may not have as much as you is more rewarding than buying the latest basketball sneakers or having Dr. Dre’s newest pair of headphones.

Though it may not mean much, I applaud each of the above mentioned men and any other athletes out there using their celebrity status to help improve the lives of others by donating their money and/or time. Hopefully, one day, these will be the actions that we, as a society, focus on and celebrate more.

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Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett headed to Brooklyn: Fair trade?

Last night was a very exciting night for the NBA. The draft was much different than what many had thought. However, there was a disturbance in the draft and it had nothing to do with the newest additions to the league.

During the draft, it was announced that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would be traded to the Brooklyn Nets after rumors of them planning to leave.

The Nets would then give up three first-round draft picks (one each in 2014, 2016 and 2018), Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks.

With two future Hall of Famers headed to Brooklyn, it seems that the Nets are getting a good deal, but who really has the upper hand?

When it comes to the numbers, the Nets have the upper hand. Garnett and Pierce outscore the three 33-19 and are better at rebounding, according to their numbers from the past season.

Another thing to consider is how both Garnett and Pierce will respond to former player Jason Kidd as their coach. Humphries, Wallace and Brooks are younger guys that would have learned a lot from Kidd.

Garnett and Pierce, however, are closer to Kidd’s age and played extensively against him.

Will they be able to see him as a coach and give him the proper respect? Pierce may not have a problem with this because he is somewhat mild mannered. Garnett, on the other hand, may be more vocal about any objections that may come up, which could cause problems.

As of now, the Bostons Celtics do not have a head coach. The bright side is that they have all of their players. As a result, they can evaluate each players’ talents, see who will fit their system and be the best coach for the team during their rebuild.

Additionally, there have been problems in the past between Kris Humphries and Rajon Rondo that resulted in both getting ejected. Will this have an effect on how they act as teammates?

Rudy Gay and Quincy Acy also had tensions during a game that resulted in both getting technical fouls. After they became teammates, however, they put aside their differences and are cordial as players on the Toronto Raptors. Perhaps Rondo and Humphries can do the same? Advantage: Boston.

Both teams must also consider the longevity of their newest team members. Brooks is the youngest at 24 and Garnett is the oldest at 38. In a few years, Garnett and Pierce will be retiring. They have been playing for a long time and are set in their ways.

Humphries, Brooks and Wallace, on the other hand, are younger and are not as set in their ways. There is still time to cultivate their talent and could, ideally, win a championship. With Garnett and Pierce, there’s less time. Advantage: Boston.

Next year’s draft is projected to be better than this year’s. The biggest sensation is Kansas’ newest guard, Andrew Wiggins. He is drawing comparisons to LeBron James because many professional teams expressed interest in him, but Wiggins is required to play at least one year in college before declaring for the draft.

Other top players projected to be in the 2014 draft include Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, James Young and Andrew Harrison.

Part of the trade included that Boston would get one of the Nets’ draft picks next year. Depending on where Brooklyn places, this could be huge for next generation of Boston. Advantage: Celtics.

Even though both teams and the NBA have agreed to the terms of the trades, it will not be finalized until July 10.

At first, it seemed crazy for the Celtics to give up two of their franchise players. Both will be hall of famers and put up good numbers for the team. However, it is Brooklyn that seems to have received the short end of the stick.

Despite Boston not having a coach, they are slowly but surely organizing their pieces to make a better team. Looks to me like they’re headed in the right direction in doing so.

Categories: basketball, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, National Basketball Association, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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