If the NBA gave out grade school awards – “most likely to succeed,” “best smile,” “best dressed” – many would think J.R. Smith would be the perennial frontrunner for “class clown.” Yet there’s another player as mischievous, if not more so, than Smith: Rajon Rondo. While Smith’s antics are often loud and at times fine-worthy, Rondo’s are much more subtle. Smith unties someones shoes; Rondo casually joins the other team’s huddle.
Rondo’s form of mischief happens when you least expect it, in moments away from the action. They force you to do a double-take, to rewind the game to make sure what you think happened actually happened. Him tugging on Wes Johnson’s shorts perfectly exemplifies his brand of troublemaking. It’s not overt – rather than trying to yank them down, he merely pulls at them, just enough for Johnson to notice (and for the rest of us to not immediately notice) and distract him, even momentarily. These hijinks are a reflection of Rondo’s playing style – a combination of the unexpected, maddening, captivating and cheeky.
Unfortunately, Rondo’s antics were all for naught, as the Los Angeles Clippers got the win, 114-109. The Kings didn’t make it easy for the Clips, though, rallying to briefly take back the lead in the fourth quarter. Rondo finished with 21 points and eight assists.