Kevin Garnett is a maniac that wears his heart, soul, liver, and large intestines on his sleeve. Paul Pierce fluctuates between sarcastic trash talk and a megawatt smile. Our old friend Kendrick Perkins is still famous for his snarl. Rajon Rondo, on the other hand, wears a mask of implacable indifference.
You could point out that his hair is on fire and the most you would get is an annoyed scrunching of the face. He could win his second NBA championship this summer and it would appear as if he was walking through the park instead of through confetti and hysteria. You don't really know the depths of his emotions, but you know what they say about still waters.
Rondo might just be a tumult of emotions on the inside, but he's apparently found a way to bottle those up and remain at least outwardly focused on the task at hand. That might not be entirely healthy, and he might flip his lid someday with a tirade that would make Kevin Garnett shrink away in fear. But so far, at least, it seems to work for him. I think it must allow him to keep a mostly clear head which frees up his prodigious cranium to problem solve and anticipate moves before they happen.
You can tell that even as he's on the court trying to direct traffic and play keep away from the opposing point guard picking him up at half court, that he's thinking through things that only coaches should be worrying about at that moment. LIke "should I get Bass the ball to get him more touches and keep him from getting cold?" Or perhaps, "they seem to be fighting through the high screen a lot, I'll let them use that a couple of times then give KG the eyebrow-raise and lob it up over the top for the alley-oop." Or maybe even "Pierce looked a step slow on that last trip, maybe I'll crash into the lane and draw a foul just to give us all a couple seconds rest - even if I only make 1 of the 2 shots, it will be worth it."
On second thought, he might not ever think that last thought. He's probably the kind of guy that thinks that every shot is going in every time despite his renounced shooting deficiencies. I mean, you have to have that kind of confidence to proclaim yourself the best point guard in a league that still includes Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, and Russell Westbrook - not to mention the injured former MVP Derrik Rose.
But that's Rondo. And the bravado is delivered with that same trademark blank mask of a face. He makes the comment so matter-of-factually that you come to understand that he considers it not just true, but a given that anyone with half a brain would see.
And you know what, maybe he's right. Maybe he really is that good and it takes a smarter basketball brain than most of us possess to fully understand that fact. "Best" is kind of a subjective term that depends on the criteria that you are considering anyway. He's the best distributor by most anyone's standards and if that's the value you place highest on point guards ...then yup, he's hands down the best. There are other factors of course. But when you roll in defense and rebounding and running the offense - the pluses add up to far outweigh any shooting limitations.
So yeah, personally I think I agree with him. I do think he's the best point guard. So either I'm just another biased Celtics fan (highly possible) or I'm just as smart as Rondo (probably not). And as some have pointed out already, it doesn't really matter at the end of the day who is the best at one position or on their own team or whatever. All that matters is who has the best team at the end of the season.
Rondo already has one ring and he's got his eyes set on more. Those cold eyes. Those stone cold eyes that look deep into his opponent's soul. Weighing and measuring before dismissing and dismantling them on his way to the next obstacle. Man I'm glad he's on our side.