Everybody keeps asking when Rajon Rondo is going to step up and be the team leader for the Boston Celtics, but the better question is WILL he step up and be the leader this team needs?
Rondo’s numbers prove that he’s an impressive guard and among the best in the league, but the issues with his attitude leave me questioning when he will take control of himself. Doc Rivers has said many times that he expects Rondo to take over as a prominent leader for Boston, but in my opinion there are changes needed before that can happen.
When Rondo got traded to the Celtics right after the draft, he came into a great situation to grow and learn from the “Big 3,” Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. They shared so much with Rondo over the past couple of years, but has Rondo truly grasped that it is now his time to step up to the plate.
Rondo is now in his seventh season in the league, and at the age of 26 he needs to find that spark to lead the team to victories. He now has to mentor rookies like Jared Sullinger, but is he ready for this new role?
When Rondo was tossed from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Atlanta Hawks, his character came into question. Rondo took another technical foul in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals when he kicks the Miami Heat’s Shane Battier.
To top things off, Rondo was suspended earlier this season after a shove fest with the Brooklyn Nets’ Kris Humphries. Is this really the player Doc wants to be an example for the Celtics?
Rondo has very little time to step it up and show the team why and how he can be a positive leader. Yes, there will be calls out of his control, but his character should always remain in tact.
The Celtics will undoubtedly make it to the playoffs once again this year, but the question is how far will they make it? It’s been a long time since that 07-08 championship season. This may be the last season Pierce and Garnett can help Rondo get to the Finals.
Rondo has a lot going for him, because he has the backing from his coach. However, it is still up to him to prove himself worthy to lead this team now and in the future. If Rondo wants to be among the Boston greats, he has to continue to improve physically and mentally while building the team with him.