As the N..."/>

As the N..."/>

Celtics Rondo 'MVP' in Boston, looks for 2nd NBA Championship in three years


As the NBA Finals roll around, one thing remains apparent: the Celtics are now Rajon Rondo’s team.

Since his arrival on the scene, Rondo has played second fiddle to the cast of characters that litter the Boston Celtics roster. As general manager Danny Ainge looked to revamp his lineup to create one of the most formidable trios assembled, he needed a leader to bring it all together.

That man—or kid to many—was Rondo, a 20-something year old who was put in charge of leading the most storied franchise in NBA history.

Rondo was a product of Tubby Smith’s demanding defense while at Kentucky. For two straight years, Rondo produced and became one of the most versatile players in college basketball. By his sophomore season, he averaged, 11 points, six rebounds, and five assists while bowing out to the powerful UConn Huskies in the second-round of the NCAA Tournament. After a 22-13 record during the 2005-2006 seasons—a lackluster year by Kentucky standards—Rondo decided it was time to head to the next level.

When the ’06 NBA Draft rolled around, Rondo essentially fell in the laps of the Celtics and general manager Danny Ainge by way of a trade with the Phoenix Suns, who originally drafted the athletic point guard out of Kentucky.

With Rondo onboard, it was up to Ainge to put together a starting lineup that could compete not only in the Eastern Conference, but also during the NBA Finals.

It has now been three years since Rondo has entered the league and even with the Big Three—Garnett, Pierce, and Allen—former Wildcats star Rajon Rondo is the leader of this team.

Rondo’s abilities fit in perfectly with the Celtics, an integral component to the flow of Boston’s progression from afterthought to NBA finalist for the second time in three years. Only a few in the league—Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook—have the speed and athleticism that Rondo possesses. Rondo is a one man fast-break, but also leads the team through offensive sets with a headiness only found in guys like Steve Nash or Deron Williams. His spectacular passes conjure up images of Celtics great Bob Cousy, winner of six NBA Championships while with Boston, a feat that Rondo can only hope to accomplish.

What often gets lost in the shuffle is Rondo’s defensive prowess, a trait he picked up early in his life while playing at Eastern High School in Louisville, Kentucky and later at basketball power-house Oak Hill Academy. That prowess continues today, as Rondo was recognized as a member of the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team averaging 2.3 steals a game, becoming the first Celtics player ever to lead the league in steals.

Simply put, Rondo is what the Celtics needed to be successful, giving the organization a chance to win its second NBA title in three years. As the NBA Finals begin Thursday night, Rajon Rondo will be expected to lead his team to victory once more, giving the Celtics their 18th NBA Championship.

Keep following www. for the best in Kentucky basketball and football news, rumors, and opinions. By Kentucky fans for Kentucky fans