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Who is Rajon Rondo?

I am Rajon Rondo.

We do not share the same profession. We do not share the same background. We do not share the same race, religion, height or weight.

I am Rajon Rondo.

You know that kid you went to elementary school with? You know the one I’m talking about—the kid who tried half as hard as you did but got twice the results. The kid who was a selective listener—the one who knew he was among the smartest in the room, and he didn’t’ care who the hell knew it.

That was me. And that was Rajon Rondo.

“AS A FRESHMAN at Eastern High School in 2001, Rondo took a sophomore AP geometry class, taught by a man named Doug Bibby. He didn’t do homework. He wouldn’t bring his books. He frequently fell asleep at the back of the classroom, waking up only when an angry Bibby called on him to answer a question. Rondo would rouse himself, glance at the board, blurt out the correct answer and resume his slumber. He aced all his tests, which led Bibby to suspect Rondo of cheating, so the teacher gave Rondo different tests. “He aced those too,” Bibby says. To send a message, Bibby still gave Rondo a D. It was, Bibby says, “a pissing contest.””

Your mind doesn’t stop moving. You refuse to take shit from anyone. You want to know it all, but you are very selective about your teachers—they have to prove their knowledge to you. You’re always anticipating the next move. Your mind works like a constant checklist from the moment you wake up in the morning to the second you fall asleep at night.

I am Rajon Rondo.

Whatever I say about you behind your back, I’ve already told you the exact same thing to your face. I’ll tell you exactly what’s on my mind, and I don’t care what your reaction to my honesty is. I don’t want to be in a room full of people like myself, and I don’t want to hear what sounds good.  That’s Rajon Rondo.

NBA: DEC 19 Cavaliers at Celtics

I have flaws. I take things too personally.  I often think my idea is the best in the room—even when it isn’t. I am extremely critical of myself. I want to be perfect in a world filled with imperfections. I want to lift up others while still illustrating that I’m on top myself. I want to be a finished product despite the need to constantly and consistently evolve.

I am Rajon Rondo.

Like Rondo, I’ve been in fights I’m not proud of, disagreements I wouldn’t admit to until later and plenty of verbal spar sessions that would have left a dojo master with his jaw on the floor. Like Rondo, I’ve had others make assumptions about my personality, I’ve had conclusions drawn about me from people who have never said one word to me, and most importantly, like Rondo, I do the things that I choose to do in my life because they’re what I want to do. Whether you feel they’re right, wrong or somewhere in between—that’s not what motivates me, and that’s certainly not how my decision-making is driven.

Emotions are important, and articulating those feelings are even more critical. Whether it’s on the basketball court, in a relationship, at work or between friends, this applies to all aspects of life. The worst thing someone can be is not be accountable for their feelings. If you’re happy, be happy. If you’re mad, be mad. And if you’re genuinely pissed the hell off, be pissed the hell off—but don’t internalize it.  Say it. And don’t be scared of what happens next.

I am Rajon Rondo.

I am not for everyone. I have never been, and will never be. I am not a one size fits all product. I am a human being with real, raw emotion that comes out in various ways.

“He doesn’t like to be told what to do. He wants to be coached, but when you coach him, you’d better know what you’re talking about. And even then, he still may challenge you. The question always was, ‘Is he a good enough player to behave the way he does?’ ”
— Celtics GM Danny Ainge.

I am Rajon Rondo.

I’m going to challenge you. I’m going to make sure you know exactly where I’m coming from. I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear, and I most certainly will not accept some BS generalization you’ve used as an explanation previously.

I am stubborn. I am far from a finished product. And I’m always going to challenge you to get better.

“It’s all calculated. My life is calculated.”
— Rajon Rondo

Every day I hope to be better in going with the flow. Every day I hope to be better in being more flexible. And every day, I’m hoping that I can shut down the clock in my head that acts as a stopwatch all day long.

Why can’t the world operate on my clock and go exactly as I planned it in my head? Every plan, every move, every step—all closely calculated as to maximize my every move like a game of Chess—that’s where Rondo and I are different as he’d pick Connect Four.

But outside of board games and those qualities outlined above?

I am Rajon Rondo. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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