Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Pierre Rondo (born February 22, 1986) is an American professional basketball player who plays point guard for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Rondo attended Eastern High School and Oak Hill Academy for his high-school basketball career, before receiving a scholarship from the University of Kentucky. He played for two years at Kentucky before declaring for the 2006 NBA Draft, represented by agent Bill Duffy. During the draft, Rondo was selected 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns, and was subsequently traded to the Boston Celtics, where he made his NBA debut as a rookie during the 2006–07 season. He played a supporting role before he established himself as the starting point guard for the Celtics during the 2007–08 season. That season, Rondo earned his first NBA Championship, playing alongside All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. His breakout performance came during the 2009 NBA Playoffs, where he nearly averaged a triple-double, and helped his team take the eventual Eastern-conference champion Orlando Magic a full seven games in the East semi-finals. Rondo committed to University of Kentucky over hometown University of Louisville. Rondo, along with All-Americans Joe Crawford and Randolph Morris, gave Kentucky the top-rated recruiting class for 2004 according to Rondo led Kentucky to several wins including clutch-shot victories against the University of Louisville, South Carolina and Central Florida, but Kentucky failed to advance to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament in either Rondo's freshman or sophomore seasons. He was named to the SEC All-Freshmen Team. He set a Kentucky Wildcats record for most steals in single-season, with a total of 87 steals in his freshman year and made at least one steal in every game. He finished his freshman year at Kentucky averaging 8.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals. In his sophomore year he had a career high 12 assists against Ole Miss, despite playing just 23 minutes, and 25 points against Louisville. Rondo also set another Kentucky Wildcats record for most rebounds in a game by a guard, with 19 rebounds in an early season loss to Iowa. He was not known for being a shooter, however, going 18–66 from three with a 57.1% FT average. He averaged 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game in his sophomore year. Rondo was also named to the 2005 USA Men's Under-21 World Championship Team, which traveled to Argentina for the FIBA World Championships. He averaged 11.0 ppg and 4.5 apg in the eight-game tournament, garnering much attention from NBA scouts. The USA U-21 team won a gold medal at the Global Games held in Texas in late July.

Following the 2005–06 NCAA season, Rondo announced he would forgo his final two seasons at Kentucky and enter the NBA draft. Rondo was drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 NBA Draft. Phoenix then traded him to the Boston Celtics along with Brian Grant for the Cleveland Cavaliers' first-round draft pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and cash considerations. He was the first point guard to be chosen in the draft. In another draft-day deal, the Celtics acquired Sebastian Telfair from the Portland Trail Blazers, finally uniting the backcourt Rick Pitino had envisioned at Louisville. He was signed by the Boston Celtics on July 4, 2006.During his rookie season in the NBA, Rondo played a supporting role and would split time with Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West. Rondo only started in 25 games that season due to his initial backup role to Telfair. He made his NBA regular season debut on November 1, 2006, in a home loss against the New Orleans Hornets. In his rookie season, he lacked on his jump shot which resulted in him slashing to the basket for a teardrop or layup. While coming off the bench, he managed to score a career-high 23 points against the Toronto Raptors, and record his first career double-double in a road losing effort against the Washington Wizards. In his first career start, he matched his career-high against the Los Angeles Clippers, though the line-ups were constantly being shuffled between Telfair and Rondo at the point guard. After officially becoming a starter, he began to receive more playing time (career-high forty-seven minutes of playing time) and show improvement (career-high fourteen rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs, and a career-high seven steals against the Indiana Pacers). As the mid-season approached, his numbers began to increase, which earned him an All-Rookie Second Team selection. He finished the season with an average of 6.4 ppg and 3.8 apg, ranking in the top ten in the NBA in steals (128) and also ranking in the top ten among rookies in several other categories, including first in steals, second in assists and sixth in minutes. In the end, however, the Celtics finished the season with a 24–58 win-loss record and failed to qualify for the playoffsAfter Telfair and West were traded during the offseason of the 2007–08 season, Rondo secured a spot in the starting lineup, starting in every game. Surrounded by All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, he quickly became a steady, consistent player. In his 77 games played, he averaged 10.6 points per game (ppg), 5.1 assists per game (apg) and 4.2 rebounds per game (rpg). His role as a playmaker reflected in him leading the team in assists and steals. In a game against the New Jersey Nets, Rondo suffered a lower back injury late in the third quarter, forcing him to miss the next four games. He made his successful return from injury and to the starting lineup in a road win against the New York Knicks.

In his third NBA campaign, the Celtics began the season with the best starting record in NBA history and also set a franchise record with a nineteen-game winning streak. Rondo's numbers increased from his previous season performance; however, he was criticized for his shooting. He recorded his first career triple-double along with a career-high in assists (16 points, 13 rebounds and 17 assists), against the Indiana Pacers. In a home win against the New York Knicks, Rondo led the team to tie a franchise record with eighteen straight wins. However, after the winning streak was snapped the team struggled, losing seven out of nine games after ending the streak.[During the 2009–10 season, Rondo averaged career highs in points (13.7), assists (9.8) and steals (2.3) and became the first Celtic to lead the league in steals. On November 2, 2009, Rondo signed a five-year extension with the Celtics worth a guaranteed $55 million. In a road victory against the Orlando Magic on Christmas day, Rondo recorded 17 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists, two assists shy of a triple double. In the first game of the 2010–11 season, Rondo put up 17 assists, which tied with Oscar Robertson for the third-most assists in a season opener. In the third game of the season, he dished out a career-high 24 assists along with a triple-double (10 points and 10 rebounds) against the New York Knicks. It tied him with Isiah Thomas as the only players in NBA history to have at least 24 assists in a triple-double. His total of 50 assists through the first three games of the season tied John Stockton's NBA record for most assists in the first 3 games of the season. In the next game against the Detroit Pistons, he finished the game with 17 assists for a total of 67 assists, which is the most assists in the teams first four games in NBA history. With a 15 assists effort the following day, Rondo again set a record for most assists through the first five games.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Total Pageviews

Popular Posts