Today’s Thoughts of the Day discusses Rajon Rondo’s season-ending torn ACL, the Lakers’ big win against the Thunder and comments on the safety of the NFL by President Obama and Bernard Pollard. Let’s do it!
Sunday afternoon, the Boston Celtics got a shock when All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo was diagnosed with a torn ACL, out for the rest of the season. As a fan of the game of basketball, this hurts to see. After all, Rondo had finally got the All-Star start he finally deserved, and to me he is the most exciting player in the NBA. The Celtics will obviously be hurt by this, since they were a sub-.500 team even with him in the lineup. But does that mean the Celtics have no chance to make the playoffs? Not necessarily. My initial reaction was that the season was over for Boston, but they still have a chance. Remember, since the 2007-2008 season, the Celtics are 21-13 without Rajon Rondo over last 4 seasons (.618 win pct). With Rondo, they have a .604 win percentage. Obviously that stat is sort of misleading since it’s a much bigger sample size with him playing, but that says something. I honestly think Paul Pierce plays better without Rondo, and the Celtics turn the ball over much less (although they don’t get the high-risk/high-reward star in there). Boston’s options are simple now: go for a title run without Rondo by bringing in veterans via free agency without making any major acquisitions, trade young Sullinger for a quality player like Tyreke Evans, or blow it all up by trading Paul Pierce and/or Kevin Garnett for draft picks and a young star. Out of these options, I would still go with option one by not blowing anything up just yet. Option two is flawed because of Jared Sullinger’s future value to this team, likely letting a young star go without a championship to show for it. Option three would not be the way to go because the worst-case scenario is just ready to explode with this one. You let your Captain go and he doesn’t end his career as a Celtic. Instead he ends his career in Los Angeles, winning a championship with Kobe Bryant. KG continues his All-Star play and wins another title as well, and suddenly it’s the Roger Clemens situation in Boston once again where letting him go only rejuvenated him. You push through this year, get Rondo back by January next year, and see where it takes you. One thing’s for sure though: the Celtics will not be the same without number nine pushing point.
The Lakers won a big one Sunday over the Thunder, 105-96. This was LA’s biggest win of the year without a doubt, and some are saying this is a sign of things to come for the Lake Show. Well, it sure could be. The box score was a thing of beauty: Steve Nash with 17, Paul Gasol with 16, Metta World Peace with 15, Antawn Jamison with 12, Earl Clark with 11, and Kobe Bryant with 21 points and 14 assists. The ball movement was what won LA the ballgame. Anytime six players get into double-figures you know you have a solid chance of winning the game no matter who the opponent is. And if Kobe keeps the balance going of keeping everyone involved and interested as well as hitting clutch shots in the last two minutes, this is as much of a playoff team as any of the West’s non-elite contenders. To me this team goes how Metta goes honestly. He’s had a quiet 2013 (which is sort of a good thing discipline-wise) and maybe Sunday’s game was the game that woke him up. I’m not saying the Lakers will automatically be playoff-bound off of one game, but I have a much more positive outlook on this team than I did a few days ago.
Player safety in the NFL is obviously a huge issue, and President Obama has offered his opinions on the dangers of the game. ”I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” he said in an interview with the New Republic. ”And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.” Ravens defensive back Bernard Pollard told CBSSports.com that he doesn’t believe the league will be in existence in 30 years because of rules changes instituted in an effort to make the game safer, and the “chance a player might die on the field as players continue to get stronger and faster.” First off, President Obama’s comments were very striking to me. The president is probably the most passionate sports fan to ever take the Oath of Office, and to say he would have to think long and hard before he let his hypothetical son play football really speaks for a lot of parents across the United States. And as for Pollard’s comments, his concern that a player might die on the field one day is frightening considering he is one of the hardest-hitting players in the league, has seriously injured a few players in his career, and is about to play the biggest game of his life in less than a week. Do I think the NFL will be gone in 30 years? Absolutely not. Will its popularity be down a little bit because of flags and injuries slowing down the game? Possibly. But people will always watch no matter what. Think about it, the Pro Bowl had a better rating than any All-Star Game, and it’s completely irrelevant. When people see NFL, they don’t even think for themselves; they just click the remote and start watching. Would I let my son (if I had one) play football? Probably, but I would consider the risks before doing so.
Agree? Disagree? Drop a comment or follow me on Twitter @chuckiemaggio