This morning at Celtics practice, Rajon Rondo was asked if he'll have anything to prove when the C's take the court for Game 3.
His answer: "Why would I have anything to prove? I just want to win. Thats it. Im confused why you guys would think I have anything to prove. Its a game Ive been playing my entire life. The world knows what I can do. Im just going to play and do what I do best and be the best point guard in the NBA."
Rondo was also asked if he feels like he let his team down: "No," he said. "Do you feel like I let them down?"
Ahhh, that's pure Rondo.
Now first of all, it's hard to argue with his assessment of the question. Something to prove? The guy has a ring, back-to-back All-Star nods and a newly-minted assist title under his belt. He has nothing to prove. But that's not the point.
More than anything, the questions gave Rondo one more chance to apologize for what happened; to present one final act of humility before turning the page. Something like: "Yeah, I don't know about something to prove, but I'm obviously very sorry for the situation. That can't happen again. And it won't."
And I think, if put in that position, most athletes would've done just that. Taken a step back, eaten piece of humble pie and given the reporters and the rest of the world what they wanted.
But not Rondo.
He turned the question on its head. He heard "Do you have anything to prove?" and seemed to forget that the altercation even happened. He took that opportunity to show remorse and humility, and used it as a stage to pronounce himself the best point guard in the NBA!
And you know what? I love it.
Because it really doesn't matter. Honestly, does appeasing the media hordes with another public apology do anything for Rondo? Of course not. He understands the reality of the situation as much as anyone.
If he doesn't play well, everyone will use Game 1 as another example of why he's not cut out to lead the Celtics and try to run him out of town. If he plays well, everyone will go on and on about how Game 1 was such an important step in the maturation of the future leader of this great franchise.
Whether or not one thing has anything to do with the other is irrelevant.
So why play the silly game?
The only thing that matters is that Rondo has the respect and support of everyone in that locker room, and if you've listened to anything that's come from the Celtics players, coaches, Danny Ainge since the incident, it's abundantly clear that they're in his corner.
And with that, it's time to move on to Game 3 and hope that Rondo provides us all with something else to obsess about.
A triple-double would be nice.