Even though I knew that when it came to Rajon Rondo winning a title in LA I knew to mentally prepare long before it ever happened
I have to admit I still wasn't prepared for what I watched last night. Almost all of the feelings I talked about in that blog came true, and it was most certainly a mindfuck to watch. What put my brain in such a pretzel was the fact that just like in Game 6 in 2008 when he put up 21/7/8 with 6 steals, he had that same level of impact in Game 6 in 2020
19/4/4 on 72/75% splits. A vintage Playoff Rondo performance like you read about. We got everything from Rondo that us Celtics fans love about him. Finishing at the rim, knocking down huge threes, for stretches somehow looking like the best player on the court. It really is remarkable what Rondo was able to do this postseason for a guy many considered to be washed up and done. Shit, even Lakers fans were begging for him to NOT play in the playoffs. But the thing is, they don't win the title without him, I truly believe that. He was huge in that Rockets series and then backed it up with a solid performance against the Nuggets. In these Finals, it was his big Game 2 (16/4/10) that helped put the Lakers over the top, and while he struggled in Game 5, you knew deep down that he would show up in Game 6. It's what Playoff Rondo does.
Rajon Rondo has one of the most interesting career arcs maybe of any player ever. He was a role player in 2008 but was a big part of the success of that title team. At his peak, he went toe to toe with Prime LeBron in the playoffs. That's truly where Playoff Rondo was born. Then he was traded, bounced a round a bunch, was seen as sort of a locker room cancer and was practically out of the league. To then comeback and have this sort of impact on another championship team in his age 33 season is wild.
A 4x All Star, 3x AST Champ, 4x All NBA Defense, 1x All NBA, 1x STL Champ, and now a 2x NBA Champ, did Rondo punch his ticket to the Hall Of Fame last night? Basketball Reference has him with a 60% probability of getting in which is crazy because he's slightly behind Kyrie/Dame/Lowry. If you ask me, of course I think he's getting in. I don't think he needs a 3rd ring or anything like that. I also think he goes in as a Celtic so that helps things.
My entire existence as consisted of despising the Los Angeles Lakers. It's all I've known. But I can't do it with Rondo. I want to, but I can't. Not after what he did for my favorite basketball team. Had he never gotten it done and then won one in LA it would be much easier to hate the man but I simply cannot bring myself to do it. I don't like it, it makes me feel dirty, but I'll be a Rondo guy forever and I'm happy for him that he once again reached the top of the mountain. Him showing up in Game 6 the way he did made me nostalgic as fuck. Even though seeing him raise the trophy wearing the purple and gold is legitimately my nightmare, now that it happened I can't help but be happy for him.
It feels like Rondo's NBA life just got extended a few more years, and chances are I'm now going to have to sweat out him winning more than one title in LA. This one I can handle. If he somehow wins more titles as a Laker than a Celtic I'm not sure what that's going to do to my brain. Can't have that.