Shaq: Obama to blame for Rondo's struggles

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Shaq: Obama to blame for Rondo's struggles

Many thought Rajon Rondo's late-season slump was due in part to the Celtics trading away their starting center, one of Rondo's best friends, Kendrick Perkins.

Shaquille O'Neal has a different take; he blames Barack Obama.

In his upcoming book, Shaq Uncut, written with ESPN's Jackie MacMullan, O'Neal says that a playful insult from President Obama messed with Rondo's head and threw the Celtics point guard off his game for the remainder of the season.

From Shaq Uncut:

In early March some of the guys went to the museum of Fine Arts for a fund-raiser and got to hang with President Barack Obama. Everyone was a little bit in awe. The President turns to Ray, points at Rondo, and says, Hey, Ray, why dont you teach this kid how to shoot? Everyone starts laughing.

KG told me he saw the look on Rondos face and the kid was devastated, embarrassed. Dissed by the President, even though Im sure Obama didnt mean any harm. Rondo smiled and went along with all of it, but KG told me he could see it in his eyes. It bothered Rondo. It killed him.

The next day Rondo shot the ball horribly. He stopped taking shots after that. Hes so sensitive. I think it was a real jolt to hear the outside perception of a basketball fan who happens to be the President of the United States. It messed with his mind. Im sure of it.

Shaq Uncut is available for pre-order and will debut on November 15.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Should Paul George or Gordon Hayward be Celtics' priority?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Should Paul George or Gordon Hayward be Celtics' priority?

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0:41 - Should Paul George be the priority over Gordon Hayward? Is trading for one year of George better than signing Gordon Hayward long-term? Curran, Holley, Giles, Smith discuss.

4:45 - Could a Tom Brady extension be in the works? Phil Perry joins BST to discuss Dan Graziano’s article about QB contracts in the NFL. 

9:13 - Evan Drellich and Lou Merloni join from Fenway Park to talk about the message John Farrell sent to Hanley, how the bullpen was used after Chris Sale was taken out, and the rumor that the Red Sox are interested in Sonny Gray. 

15:09 - Tom Giles and Tom Curran discuss how the Suns GM Ryan McDonough might have “tampered” with Josh Jackson to prevent him from going to the Celtics.