Rajon Rondo: A Reality Check

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Before he signed his contract last night, Rajon Rondo, himself viewed as one of a handful of promising young point guards, faced off against the promising young point guard, New Orleans' Chris Paul. And as Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix relayed before the game, Rondo wasn't conceding anything to CP3.

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And sure enough, the two were jawing throughout the game, culminating with this post-game exchange:

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Indeed, Rondo's developed something of a mean streak over the past few years, so it's not really a surprise that he'd go after Chris Paul or say something that might get under his skin. That mean streak is one of the reason's I'm so convinced he's going to be a great player--and definitely worth $55 million.

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All great players have that nasty streak, and while someone like Brandon Roy may have more talent than Rondo, I'd rather have a player not afraid to go after anybody. Rondo relishes the battles, and that's why he's great. Celtics Blog pieced together some post-game quotes, and ultimately concluded with this:

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So maybe there is no better point guard. Maybe these two are the best at what they do- which happen to be different things. Nobody will say that Rondo is a better shooter than Paul is, except maybe Rondo. And nobody will say that Paul is a better facilitator on offense than Rondo is, except maybe Paul.

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That's what makes a rivalry fun. If these players push each other to be the best players they can possibly be, then there certainly is a winner: the fans.

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And while I agree with the point about rivalry, and again, Rondo's willingness to mix it up with Paul speaks positively, he does NOT belong in the same conversation as Chris Paul. It's great that Rajon Rondo considers himself the best point guard in the league--every player should have a similar mindset.

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But he's NOT the best, or even close. Chris Paul would average 16 assists-per-game on the Celtics, and Boston would be just about unstoppable. Paul's only competition is Deron Williams, and perhaps in a year or two, Derrick Rose.

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Rondo's still very good, but those guys are in another category--competing against history.

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