Commentary

Rondo has silenced the doubters

Updated: May 12, 2009, 6:12 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

When I think back to the triple-double Rajon Rondo posted for the Celtics earlier in the series vs. Orlando, it makes me think back to the 2006 draft.

That night, Rondo was technically drafted by Phoenix but sent over to the Celtics. As it turned out, the 23-year old has done an amazing job in Boston.

I have to be honest. That night, I had questions about Rondo's ability to shoot. I felt his perimeter shot was a drawback. We knew he was athletic and had that defensive talent. He had the potential of being a valuable point guard if he could shoot more consistently.

Rondo has become a dominant force for the Celtics. Boston arguably would not have gone past round one without the former Kentucky guard since Kevin Garnett was sidelined.

It has not been easy this postseason and Rondo has developed into a multi-faceted asset. He is a dynamite player who attacks the basket aggressively. Rondo has also improved his shot.

Why do I bring this up now? The NBA draft is a little more than a month away. Teams have that dream of ultimately picking the right player that can help them to the promised land. Blake Griffin should go number one, making someone smile big-time.

Rondo will get better and better and he is so confident with the ball in his hands. His defense has made him special.

He makes mistakes along the way, but his style is that of a winner. The Boston Celtics made a good move acquiring him.

Now I have to wonder which player in the 2009 draft will be like Rondo...a guy the experts feel has flaws in his game that can be exploited. Which player will come through after being criticized? Is there someone who will go out and prove he can flat-out play at the next level.

One name that comes to mind...Tyler Hansbrough. He has been a winner and record-breaker in Chapel Hill. For those detractors out there, this young man will prove something. It is simply about winning; Rondo has proven that, and with his work ethic, Hansbrough can do the same thing.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.