Smack / Aug 26, 2014 / 7:15 pm

ESPN Writer Continues To Claim Rajon Rondo Has Bad Reputation With His Peers

Rajon Rondo, Celtics teammates

Rajon Rondo, Celtics teammates (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The same ESPN writer who said NBA players don’t want to play with Rajon Rondo, ESPN Insider’s Jeff Goodman, spoke with SB Nation’s Celticsblog.com today to discuss his thoughts on Rondo, particularly in relation to Rondo’s peers. Goodman was pointedly asked why he publicly derides Rondo’s leadership ability and espouses the theory some NBA players don’t want him as a teammate.

Before we get into what Goodman told Celticsblog.com, first we have to mention Dime’s interactions with Rondo both on camera and off. After talking with one of Dime’s co-founders, he said that the idea Rondo has interpersonal problems with those around him could not be further from the truth — at least based off what he’s seen. Rondo’s comported himself with class whether the cameras were rolling or not, and that’s why the recent allegations from Goodman ring hollow for some — particularly Dime’s founder.

Of particular note is Goodman’s lack of named sources, or players who will go on the record with their thoughts about playing with Rondo. This might lead some to feel Goodman’s line of thinking is unprofessional when discussing a player he covers: bad-mouthing a guy without a single verifiable source to back up his claims.

Like the world they inhabit, the NBA is increasingly more interconnected, something Goodman alludes to in his chat with SB Nation. To label a player as a sort of malignant tumor without the respect of his teammates, could actually lead to that misinformed opinion rippling out to affect other player’s reactions to him.

Enough preamble, here’s the first part of Goodman’s Q&A with Celticsblog writer Jeff Clark:

CelticsBlog: “What is your overall opinion of Rajon Rondo? If you were running or coaching a team, would you want him on it? (and why?)”

Jeff Goodman: “He is exceptionally talented. Let’s start there – and maybe that’s what frustrates me more than anyone else about him. He is so quick, has the potential (and we saw it early in his career) to be one of the elite defensive players in the world, and also the ability to make his teammates better. I have such high expectations. But he frustrates me for a variety of reasons – he doesn’t show much leadership ability, more often than not makes the flashy pass rather than the simple one, has not improved his perimeter shot – and doesn’t appear to care about being a great teammate (as some of his former coaches will attest to off the record). I would love to have him on my team – if I have established veterans who can make plays on the offensive end. For a team such as the one in 2008, he was the ideal point guard. KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were not only veterans who led the team, but were also offensive weapons that took the pressure off Rondo. Would I want Rondo? Sure, but it also depends on the team that surrounds him. I don’t feel that he’s the ideal fit with the current group – largely because he’s forced to be the leader and also needs to make shots (two of his weaknesses).”

Click to read more from Goodman on Rondo and his alleged reputation around the NBA…

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  • SweetdickWilly

    There’s at least something to it since Doc Rivers and Ray Allen have left since these types of accounts first started making headlines and Rondo does start shit during games at times too.

  • SoulChorea

    You don’t need any “named sources” to see that this dude is annoying. He’s a good player but you can tell this guy irritates people just by watching him (and hearing his high-pitched yapping at people) during games. You could tell he drove Ray Allen bonkers when he was in Boston.

  • Onaje

    To be blunt…

    This is such a bitch perspective and more catty gossip than reporting on a real issue of someone being a poor locker room presence or teammate.

    All the butt buddy nature in the NBA is some of the more repulsive stuff I care to see in the game. I don’t care if LeBron and D-Wade hold hands to the post game interviews and massage each other’s feet after the game or that LeBron and Melo sext each other about fashion and Wives tolerate each other…Keep it about Basketball.

    Rondo like Kobe like Isiah like KG like Alonzo like Oakley like GP like CP3 like Alvin Robertson like Bird like Barkley like Oscar and and so many don’t play the game to make up for terrible childhoods and make friends or find father figures…they play for the competition and to prove they are better…they demand respect and when you don’t give it they take it. CP3 is more of a politician off the court, but on the court he is a bigger asshole than Rondo, but because he had a great story coming out of high school him punching guys in the nuts and screaming on teammates is permissible cause he is the State Farm guy…

    Rondo who is not a Champion because he was carried there, but he actually contributed doesn’t get that respect…Rondo who has killed the competition in playoff game after playoff game win or loss it wasn’t his jumper that did his teams in. Saying that he hasn’t improved his J is false as well…He’ll never be a great shooter, but he is a real offensive threat if he wasn’t he wouldn’t find it so easy to create.

    I just have when people and the media start trying to decide the narrative rather than report on what is happening. Doc didn’t leave because Rondo…that is silly thing to believe. Doc left because the Celtics weren’t going anywhere and he knows by experience if you aren’t winning as a coach you are disposable. Remember who they did him with the Magic. He was still a great coach…a year off of coach of the year with a team that wasn’t very talented and they tossed him…That has nothing to do with Rondo

    DeMarcus Cousins saying he thought Rondo was the best point guard in the league even in the year that he was hurt being related as a bad thing is just as idiotic an assertion…Cousins could have said Rose or Wall, but he consciously didn’t as he knows like KG and others who watched Rondo ball (especially in the Playoffs) this dude is a killer competitor and he made everyone better whether they were future hall of famers or guys barely holding their spot in the league…From what we can see in the actual games his teams sure are giddy when they get spoon fed a great assist or when Rondo is in one of those “dark places” and is attacking relentlessly in route to a triple double or some other ridiculous stat line leading to victories…

    Rondo is a champion, an All-Star, and true competitor that earned his spot as a top PG…got to respect it

  • Jerard Wright

    Good bring him to the LA Lakers. He’ll be a winner and not a whiner like the Celtics.