We all know that Rajon Rondo has a mind for numbers. Turns out that he has his own stats guy to give him advance stats.
According to the New York Times, those efforts led Rondo to hire a personal statistician. The Times' Scott Cacciola described Justin Zormelo as far more than a statistical mind, actually. Zormelo helps Rondo and a few other NBA stars -- including John Wall and in the past Kevin Durant -- by combining statistical work, mental approaches and film studies to allow for more in-depth analysis than any simple number cruncher could put together.
Obviously the good news here is that Rondo is putting in the time and preparation to understand the game and his opponents the best that he can.
The only thing that is perhaps a little odd is the fact that Rondo isn't really working with the Celtics at all with this.
Zormelo also sent Rondo an in-depth email that included a synopsis of what Rondo had done well, areas where he needed to improve and a scouting report for his next game. Rondo was asked if the Celtics were aware that he was seeking constant counsel from someone outside the organization. "Not really," he said. "But I’m just trying to get better. There’s nothing wrong with that."
I don't think there is anything wrong with that but it seems odd that he wouldn't at least share this data with his coaching staff - if only to facilitate further strategic discussion. Then again, these may simply be stats related to himself or specific opponents that aren't really relevant to the wider team concept.
Regardless, the legend of Rondo's math wizardry continues to grow.