BOSTON (CBS) – Rajon Rondo’s late-season shooting woes last season were well documented, but no one really knows the reason why the Celtics point guard struggled so much from the floor.
Poor form? Fatigue? The Kendrick Perkins trade?
Shaquille O’Neal has an idea: President Barack Obama.
Accodring to Slam Online, in his new book Shaq Uncut, O’Neal gives this tidbit about a jab Obama took at Rondo while with the team at a fundraiser:
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 don’t you teach this kid how to shoot?” Everyone starts laughing.
KG told me he saw the look on Rondo’s face and the kid was devastated, embarrassed. Dissed by the President, even though I’m sure Obama didn’t 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. He’s 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. I’m sure of it.
The next night against the Clippers, Rondo shot just six-for-15 in the 108-103 loss. The C’s point guard started the season off hot from the floor, hitting over 50-percent of his shots, but shot just over 40-percent for March and April.
Known as a very sensitive player, it is entirely possible, but fatigue is a much more likely contributor to the slump. Rondo took a beating all last season, sacrificing his body to get through picks and drive to the basket.
Shaq’s new book hits bookstores in November.