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BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is one confident man as he relaxes this offseason.
Rondo spent the last week at the five-day Nike World Basketball Festival in Paris, participating in Nike promotions as well as teaching youth clinics.
Rondo took the time to speak with a French website, and touched on a number of topics — including his status of a leader on the Celtics and where he ranks among other point guards in the NBA.
“I did not choose that I wanted to be a leader or not. I must be one for my team,” Rondo said, according to a translation by Celticslife.com. “Every day, I get up telling myself I want to be better. I worked hard to get to this point and I continue to work hard.”
One thing is certain, Rondo is not lacking any confidence as he heads into his seventh NBA season.
“I have matured a lot and my game has also,” said Rondo. “I think I am one of the best playermakers in the league. I think I’m the best point guard in the league.”
Rondo certainly deserves to be in the conversation with the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Derrick Rose, especially after another impressive campaign in 2012. Rondo averaged a career-high 11.7 assists per game, tops in the NBA. Once the postseason rolled around, his points per game increased from 11.9 to 17.3 on 47-percent shooting from the floor.
He’s also a pass-first point guard, something that can’t be said about Paul or Williams. While they both shoot and score at a better clip than Rondo, it’s hard to argue they can quarterback a team as well as #9.
Rondo has elevated his game each season since being taken 21st overall in 2006, and does so even more when the playoffs begin. While he has his deficiencies – inconsistencies from the free throw line and a bit of an attitude — it’s the total package that the Celtics are counting on.
With aging veterans like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics are Rondo’s team. They all say “as Rondo goes, we go.”
A little bit of swagger (especially from a guy whose nickname is “swag”) is never a bad thing from a point guard.