He Came from the Forest Where the Floor Was in Flames


Been traveling and with family, so a bit behind. Regardless, catch the latest DoC, and read these columns o' mine on "player tampering" and WNBA separatism.

So often when SLAM has a cover feature they're particularly proud of, it gets an online preview. It's excerpts, a teaser, leaks, whatever you want to call it. However, the snippets Lang gave us of his chat with Rajon Rondo pointed in another direction. There were certifiable bits of gold in there, that, when isolated and melded together, give you the perfect composite picture of what makes Rondo Rondo. Why he's the folk hero heir to Garnett and at the same time, a demonic update on a popular Celtics icon. That could either refer to any number of great guards past, or the leprechaun himself. Most likely, in his cartoonish, self-taught brilliance, an equation that combines them all.

Here, then, is the boiled-down, purified, essence of that interview, which gives you only answers on that most fundamental of levels. I love it. And I can't wait to read the rest, so I can repeat this scholarly (or completely trivializing) task:

"People probably don’t even know I made the All-Star team. Some don’t, some do ... Bron was running the point. I was just out there (laughs).

"I went to Oak Hill, and I knew Josh Smith was going to the League. I thought, OK, if he’s going to the League out of high school, and I’m just as good as him and put up the same numbers, even though we’re different positions, I was confident."

"So I got serious and started working at it. That was before my senior year."

"I wasn’t a big NBA fan growing up. I didn’t watch it. I just knew it was the highest level of basketball you could be at, and I just wanted to be there."

(Lang asks what the closest NBA team was in Louisville). "Pacers. It’s an hour-and-half drive. I never went to a game."

"I didn’t watch the NBA until maybe my freshman year of college, because I was trying to get there. It just wasn’t interesting to me."

"I mean, I’ve never even seen Jordan play, really. I just didn’t watch it."

(Lang gives Rondo props for his Dream Shake against the Cavs)
"I’ve never seen him play, though. I’ve never seen Hakeem play, never seen that move. I always do that move, and Kevin always tells me it’s the Dream Shake. To me, it’s the Rondo Shake."

"I’m a little different. I’m never really in awe of people. I don’t get caught up in the moment when I’m playing with people."

"I feel like I’m the man, that’s how I put it. But if people don’t consider me that, I’m not bothered if you say I’m not a top five point guard. Every night I prove it, but that’s just how it is."

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At 5/29/2010 3:07 PM, Blogger Andrew James Weatherhead said...


At 5/29/2010 8:22 PM, Blogger ItTakesAThiefToCatchAThief said...

I don't buy the "I've never seen Jordan play, really." Just don't. It's impossible. Not possible.

At 5/30/2010 3:23 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Maybe he means that he's never seen anything beyond, say, highlights. I'd argue that highlights don't constitute "see[ing] Jordan play." As far as I can tell he only got into basketball right before high school, which would be around 2000. So I think it's possible, if unlikely.

At 5/30/2010 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Rondo's age. I've never seen Jordan play either. I'm late to basketball, but played most of my life.

At 5/30/2010 4:23 PM, Blogger Don said...

"I’ve never seen him play, though. I’ve never seen Hakeem play, never seen that move. I always do that move, and Kevin always tells me it’s the Dream Shake. To me, it’s the Rondo Shake."

I love this guy. I remember when he was drafted a sports buddy of mines immediately claimed that Rajon Rondo would be a special player. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed.

My buddy is the only one laughing now.

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