Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Can't Takes it No More.

I was on the Mass Pike today when I heard that Rajon Rondo is out for the year with an injury.

Later, after the Celtics defeated the world champion Miami Heat in double overtime, I was listening to a number of pundits talking about how the Celtics are done without Rondo, how the league will suffer, and how the ownership of the Celtics should "blow up" the team, i.e. trade the players because they have no chance without Rajon Rondo.

I can't takes it no more.  For the record, the Celtics have been awful this year. They were, prior to today, on  a six game losing streak.  Their most recent loss came after the reserves on the team had mounted a 27 point lead on the Atlanta Hawks. When the starters, with Rajon Rondo, entered the game, the Celtics blew the 27 point lead.

Nobody wants any player to have a season ending injury. Nobody wants any person to get injured regardless of her or his vocation. However, the plaintive wailing predicting the Celtics demise is incomprehensible to me.

When Drew Bledsoe got hurt in the 2001 season having "led" the Patriots to an 0-2 record against weak opponents, the pundits wailed about how the season was now shot. How could they possibly win without Bledsoe who had broken many records for passing and could, incontrovertibly, throw darts fifty yards down field?  What was bewildering about this whining was that the team had not won a game with Bledsoe. And the prior year the Patriots were 5-11. Again, nobody wants to see a player hurt, but predicting that a player who loses will be missed makes no sense.  All the Patriots did after Bledsoe went down is win superbowls three out of the next four years.

Rajon Rondo is a terrifically talented player.  He passes brilliantly and can find the open man for sensational plays. He can score a lot of points, make assists, grab rebounds.  However, statistics can be misleading. Rondo plays without a sense of urgency often enough, and with his head disengaged  so regularly (despite being a very bright man by all accounts), that the result has been that the Celtics, who rely on Rondo to run the team as its point guard, lose big games and have been exasperatingly awful this year.

The pundits today kept referring to Rondo's impressive statistics. Rondo had a triple double in each of the last two games. But the Celtics lost both of those games. A triple double does not mean anything if the team loses.  You could argue that without the player making the triple double, the team would be worse.  Well, no Rondo today, and the Celtics beat the best team in basketball. No Bledsoe, super bowl. No, Rondo, we will see.

Professional sports is not like the circus.  People go to the circus to be entertained.  People who go to games go to be entertained but want their teams to win. Entertainment without winning is insufficient to maintain fan interest and inconsistent with the ostensible goal of sporting events. Rondo is a showman.  He was fun to watch.  But he was not a winner. I cannot takes no more listening to wizards equating his stats to his value to the team.

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