Dwyane Wade is not the only baller on the Chicago Bulls that has won an NBA Championship. Point guard Rajon Rondo did it in his second year in the NBA, orchestrating Doc Rivers’ Boston Celtics offense for the likes of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
While Rondo has played on his share of teams and been accused of being a “difficult” player for coaches and teammates at times, he undoubtedly knows what it takes to win a championship. The veterans under which he learned, struggled, grew and blossomed, put him through an NBA 101 bootcamp that few players can ever say they received.
Rondo also speaks his mind to your face, and apparently the veteran is not thrilled with with recent public comments by superstar teammates Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade criticizing the Bulls' effort.
Wade said he didn't know if his team "cared enough" to win, while Butler said last week the Bulls have been playing "terrible basketball."
The Bulls are 23-24 and surprisingly, leadership and effort is something that has been lacking.
Rondo took to Instagram Thursday and drew comparisons to when he played with Garnett and Pierce during those early years with the Celtics.
Rondo posted: "My vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team. My vets didn't pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn't take days off.
My vets didn't care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn't blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game.
My vets didn't have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn't change the plan because it didn't work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can't win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don't deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it's the leadership."
I get where he’s coming from. Wade is supposed to be the wily veteran, poised and battle-tested. He was supposed to add an edge and veteran calm to this talented Bulls roster, but if you read between the lines of what Rondo is saying, Wade hasn’t worked hard, hasn’t been the gym rat he’s been in the past and he and Butler need to be the superstars and right the ship instead of bitching in the media.
This seems to be the new trend now. King James starts demanding things and blasting his teammates in public and now Wade and Butler want to exonerate themselves from any blame for a lame Bulls season and put it all on “the team.”
Rondo stressed several times that basketball is a team sport and that Garnett and Pierce "took responsibility and got in the gym."
That sounds like a shot at certain players’ work ethic. People will be offended by Rondo’s comments because after all, he has been labeled a villain by media and NBA marketing mavens. He pulled a verbal Latrell Sprewell when he had it out with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle a few seasons back in the middle of a game. He didn’t want to call the plays the coach wanted to run.
Yeah, Rondo is a bit ornery and pig-headed. However, don’t you think some of that stems from being spoiled by three of the NBA’s all-time leading “people” and “leaders of men” molding him under the spotlight, pressure and glory of the NBA’s winningest franchise early in his career.
Nothing can compare once you start where Rondo did. He was built a certain way from jump. After he left the Celtics, Dallas was wack. Sacramento was like playing in no man’s land and now Chicago has been a shaky destination with chemistry issues.
Rondo may not be on everybody’s favorite player list, but he knows what a winning chemistry feels like and the Bulls just don’t have it.