Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo put forth one of the most courageous performances we’ve seen from an athlete in a long while. The Boston All-Star returned from a dislocated elbow suffered in the 3rd quarter against the Heat in Game 3 Saturday and played 12 minutes of one-armed basketball for his team (see video of the injury here). Rondo went from writhing on the floor with his elbow bending in an inverted direction, to the locker room to have it popped back into place. Somehow he returned to finish out the game and play through the injury.
Rondo was in apparent pain the entire fourth quarter yet he still managed to contribute to the win. He had four points on two of two shooting, one assist, and one rebound after returning from the dislocation. Somehow he even managed a steal and fastbreak layup despite playing with only one arm. Matter of fact, Rondo actually scored more points after the elbow injury than before (two compared to four). He had 12 assists in the game, but his greatest contribution to the team was the inspiration he provided.
When Rondo initially went down, most people figured he had broken his arm and that he was probably out for the series. He could have easily succumbed to the pain and left for X-rays and treatment, but instead he came back to lead his team. The Celtics are now only down 2-1 in their series and it’s quite possible Rondo’s courage can will them to more success.
As for Boston fans, they love their sports heroes and revere athletes who win for the city. Not only do Boston fans appreciate winners, but they also deify athletes who display a team-first mentality. Perhaps no Boston athlete demonstrated more of a team-first attitude than Rajon Rondo. When it comes to sports stories that gain legendary status in Beantown, Rondo returning from his dislocated elbow will enter the same courage category as Curt Schilling and his bloody sock. Rondo was already beloved for winning a title in Boston, but now he’s forever cemented as a local hero.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Winslow TownsonGoogle+