The challenge in blogging about sports is that sometimes you have to try to describe the indescribable. You are forced to put words to something that leaves you speechless. That's where I'm at with Rajon Rondo at this point. I don't know what else to say about him that doesn't sound like a cliche.
I once talked about what it would look like to create the perfect basketball player. Here's what I said:
If you were going to build the perfect basketball player, what would he look like? For me, that player would have to be really tall, like 7 feet or so. Give him a huge wingspan, too. But don’t make him too heavy and slow. In fact, make him freakishly quick and athletic. Give him low post moves, face-up moves, a great jump shot and the ability to dribble and pass with the best of them. Definitely make him an elite rebounder and defender because such assets are underrated and critical to winning basketball. Just for kicks, let’s also make him absolutely ferocious — just a madman driven to run through walls to do what it takes to win. And, as a finishing touch, make him an unselfish, classy, fiercely loyal, mature leader.
Or, I could just point at Kevin Garnett and say, "I’ll take him."
Allow me to use that same line of reasoning for filling out an NBA roster. Once you've got a dominant big man, the next best thing to put on the roster is the ideal point guard.
First, he has to be a game-changing passer. Like the kind of guy that can take over a game without ever looking at the basket himself. He makes everyone around him better and gives the defense nightmares. Next, he would be an incredible defender - one that funnels the ball to help defenders, bothers the ball handler everywhere he is on the court, and swipes a good amount of steals (turning them into easy layup opportunities going the other way).
He has to be great on the break as well as in a half court set. He has to be aggressive to the basket without being foolish with the ball. He has to keep the dribble alive without pounding it into the floor (too much waiting stalls the offense). Oh, and it doesn't hurt when he can crash the boards (since most point guards don't, this essentially gives you a man advantage on rebounds).
He would need to be lightning quick and end-to-end fast. It would help to have great leaping ability and good length. And for fun, why not abnormally large hands (all the better to control the ball with)?
Or basically you could just point to Rajon Rondo and say "I'll take him."
Yes, yes, to be fair, a picture perfect point guard would be able to shoot from anywhere. Yet somehow Rondo manages just fine being an average shooter (he's improved greatly in this area and I no longer consider him a bad shooter). For one thing, his average shot has forced him to be superhuman in every other area of the game. For another thing, he'll continue to improve his shot over the years. So no worries there.
At some point you have to start including him in the conversation with the Chris Paul's and Deron Williams' of the world. He's got a ring already and he's peaking exactly when his team needs him the most.
Bottom line is that I'm crazy about this guy. I've been waiting for someone like him since I started watching the Celtics (back in the 80s). There's just something about a pure point guard that I love watching on the court.
So I've just used a lot of words to try to describe the indescribable and I fear I haven't done him justice, but that's ok. When someone asks me why I'm so optimistic about the Celtics (now and for the future) I can just point at Rondo and say "I'll take him."