Rajon Rondo: The Darkhorse MVP

Just hear me out before you write me off as crazy. I know there are better players in the league–that’s not what this is about. MVP. Most. Valuable. Player. The acronym has to mean something.

Last year it did. D-Rose won the MVP not because he was better than Durant or Lebron, but because he did more for his team. Without him they were a pretender. With him, a contender. That’s where Rajon Rondo comes in.

Yes they are very different players, but their value as point guards and directors of the offense is the same. Last year Rose carried the Bulls to a fantastic record and playoff bid, only to be steam rolled by Miami in five. He put up a valiant effort in the face of tough odds–thus solidifying him as the MVP. It’s not just stat lines and dunks, it’s W’s that are created by the will of a single player.

I get it. Chicago last year was a better team than the C’s this year. The Celtics are just a shell of their former champion selves, and as much as it pains me to say this, it looks near impossible for any team other than Miami to make it out of the Eastern Conference Finals (unless Dwight Howard dons the highly unlikely mean Green). Teams like this years C’s don’t usually have a player nominated for MVP. But when you look around the league for one player who absolutely carries his team and puts them in playoff contention, I see two guys: Rajon Rondo and Kevin Love. And I’m not from Minnesnowta.

I watched this game, right at the heels of Rondo’s NY Knicks triple double game and it amazed me. He was everywhere on the court. D-Wills 57 pts. went unnoticed, Linsanity died and Magic Johnson finally acknowledge the greatness of Rondo. For Magic had never put in a stat-stuffing performance this impressive:

Here are some other names I’m gonna throw your way to prove just how ridiculously good (and undervalued) Rondo is: Jason Kidd. Wilt Chamberlin. Oscar Robertson.

What do they all have in common? They, along with Rondo are the ONLY players EVER to record more than 15 pts 15 rebounds and 20 assists. Rondo did that last week (he had two triple doubles in a two game period).

Kidd and Oscar are 4 inches taller than Rondo btw, and well Wilt was a giant among men. That’s not just skill and mad ups. That’s the will of a champion. And in case y’all were counting Rondo still has 1 ring more than Lebron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant do combined. JUST SAYIN’

I’ll be the first person to admit to you that Lebron James is the greatest basketball player in the NBA and that Durant could evolve into a better scorer than MJ (so what you want to fight about it?). But MVP is about VALUE. Value to your team. OKC and Miami would make the playoffs every year without Lebron or Durant. Boston this year, not so much…

When Rondo is at his best, the Celtics go on 6 game win streaks. When he’s injured or not 100%, they go on 6 game losing streaks. He is the barometer for the C’s because he is the most important player on a franchise trying to recreate itself. He does everything, which is what the C’s desperately need now. And yet they want to trade him?

That’s because he’s the only one worth a damn. It’s counter-intutive but yeah who wants Paul Pierce or KG for the next two years? I hope the Truth retires a lifelong Celtic, but you can’t beat gravity. Just ask Shaq.

Rondo is the future, unless Ainge really has lost it, and trades him laterally for another PG. It wouldn’t surprise me and honestly I can’t wait for the trade deadline next week to pass. I want to remind people that he’s 24 years old. Imagine this guy once he develops his jump shot game and adds 3 pt range. Splish. Splash. Sploosh.

If the Celts take the Atlantic and manage to claw their way into a dog fight against Miami or Chicago, you can bet your ass it’ll be because he puts up triple doubles in playoff games. I just hope his back holds up under the weight of this franchise long enough to hear chants of “MVP” rain down in the Garden.


I’ve got a Love that Keeps me Waiting: NBA

A few weeks ago, the prospects of having ANY kind of NBA season seemed slim to none. I’ll admit it, I had given up. I cursed David Stern’s name regularly and began entertaining the idea of becoming a Bruins fan to pass the time.

All I wanted for Christmas was the NBA, but Scrooge McStern and his fellow 1% of the 1%ers had other plans. The Celtics shot at another title appeared lost. Basketball would roll on, but not the NBA:

Then a few days ago I get a text at 7am saying something I figured impossible. Most good news doesn’t come that early but this bolted me outta bed. I hop-stepped over to my laptop and typed in E-S-P ….Hallelujah!!! The NBA was back.

Somehow someway (owners folding mostly) I got my Christmas wish. I was literally as excited as this guy (if you want to hear 5 new tracks from the Black Keys upcoming album “el camino”, click here):

Lets not dwell upon the fact that it will be a truncated season (66 games) or that we should have had 54 days of basketball before the Christmas day triple header tips off.

Lets not dwell on the fact that owners still got more than they should have and that mid-level players are screwed. It’s the NBA. It’s good f**king enough. I’m a lonely boy and I’m sick of waiting.

So gents, we’re back into the swing of things. Start researching players, teams and free agents (it’s gonna get wild real quick), start up a fantasy basketball league (my favorite kind of fantasy league), and most importantly, find some good people, couches and bars with flatscreen tvs to post up at. You’ve waited so long. Be patient. It’s just 24 more days and counting.

In the meantime, watch Lebron James wreck sh*t on the football field and be thankful Kevin Durant didn’t try out for the NFL:

Herro Prease: NBA Superstars Invade China

So David Stern, there’s this country everyone in the NBA is talking about. You may have heard of it. It’s called China–a land of concrete jungles with approximately 1.4 billion people (that sounds like a lucrative market no?), and millions upon millions of die-hard basketball fanatics. That’s where all the NBA superstars are now, and if this little lockout power-play of yours works, that’s where they’ll play ball in 2011-2012.

Don’t believe me? Well say “herro”┬áto China’s two favorite things: Pandas and NBA superstars. Now, they’ve got both:



KD (aka the Durantula):

(Those are the NBA’s top three scorers, btw. Getting a little anxious now Sterny?)

China loves these guys (along with the pandas) and from what these superstars have been tweeting, they love China back. Bron tweeted this: “Wow what an amazing crowd in Xian!! Love the passion these people have,” after he visited youngster basketball camps.

Other NBA stars have crossed the Pacific, only to find a culture and people that love basketball, and more importantly, love them. On merch alone, these NBA stars could recoup their loses, grow their branding and expanding into a relatively untapped market (for whatever reason). With Yao’s retirement (click for past post) the NBA needs to re-energize the Chinese ballin’ community.

Figures, the one year I’m not in China the NBA moves to the mainland. F you Stern! Just another thing we outsourced to China because American big business practices are flawed (class warfare anyone?). Finally those multi-billion-dollar sports arenas (built for the Olympics) will serve some purpose. Gonna have to add CCTV to our cable package…