I’m writing about Rajon Rondo for tomorrow’s paper. But Shaq had some gems about dealing with Rondo a few months ago in the playoffs. You might recall — and if you don’t it’s right above — their two-car collision in Game 1 of their second round series. Doc Rivers, half-joking, called it “an assassination.”
“Being the big man and being the enforcer, he was killing us,” O’Neal said. “So I had to touch him up. But I knew he was a tough kid because he kept coming down there, kept coming down there. A lot of times, you touch people up they have a choice to make. ‘I don’t want to get fouled by Shaq again.’ Then, you’ve make them go somewhere else. But that [kid] kept coming.”
More on Rondo from the Big Brinks Truck:
On how much the Cavs focused on him during the series: Before the first game, we didn’t plan for him at all. Then when he tore us a new [one] we had to plan for him.
On how he opens it up for other players: That’s what I really like about this team. You can tell that they’re unselfish because most teams’ve got one or two guys that you’ve got to get up for. You’re concentrating on Paul and Kevin and this [guy’s] getting a triple-double. And him being a smart player he just did the same thing and when we went to him, boom, he just passed the ball. Then Ray got off. Now you’ve got to concentrate on Ray. Then Ray gives it off to Kevin. Then, in the game they beat us, everybody’s getting off. That’s why I said I wouldn’t mind playing for a team like that. They don’t [care] who scores or who takes the shots.
On comparable players:He reminds me of a Nick Van Exel. Real herky-jerky with the ball. Nice handle. Can post up. He’s a great player.