Just calm yourselves with all this ruckus about Rajon Rondo's contract. The Boston Celtics ultimately have the last say on where he ends up next year. Everyone please stop with the "whoa is me, what are we going to do, we can't win a title without a point guard" talk. First of all, it's ridiculously premature. Second, I'm not sure having to find another point guard is as earth-shattering as we're making it out to be.
Before you get yourself all flustered about the thought of not extending Rondo, take a moment and consider a few things.
John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson and Allen Iverson are all great point guards (yes, I know some will debate whether Iverson is truly a point guard) yet not a one has a championship ring unless they stole it from Michael Jordan's trophy case.
President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has pointed out that his championship Celtics teams of the 1980s didn't really have a designated point guard.
Jordan's Chicago Bulls won with Ron Harper and B.J. Armstrong at the point while they used the triangle offense. Derek Fisher did the same with the Lakers. Jason Williams manned the point for the Miami Heat's championship team. Kenny Smith has two rings as a point guard. He was a very good player for the Houston Rockets and a great analyst for TNT, but he never made an all-star team.
Don't overrate the value of one position. The point guard doesn't guarantee anything.
Also, let's not jump the gun on putting Rondo in the great category. Defensively, he can be a menace, especially when he doesn't gamble. He rebounds extremely well.
His speed is -- to steal a phrase from Kenny Mayne in the ESPN commercial -- incendiary. He also finds ways to make very difficult passes on a regular basis.
But his decision-making isn't always flawless, and he doesn't make teams pay for playing off him because they don't believe he can make jump shots. Those are things that will become more important when he's not playing with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
The main reasons nobody should lose sleep over the Rondo situation are because the Celtics want him back, and he is a restricted free agent. Boston can match any free agent offer he gets this off-season.
If the Celtics match, he stays with Boston.
Ainge summed it up on the eve of training camp, saying the Celtics think of Rondo as a player who can help them transition from the present to the future.
"Our intention is to have Rondo as our franchise point guard for a decade," Ainge said. "And I think Rondo wants to be here for a long time as well. So these things are just about dollar amounts. It has no bearing on where we are with him or how we feel about him or our intentions. We may do something in October. We may do something next summer, we'll have the ability to match. We'll just play it by ear."
Future River Hawks: The word is that the UMass Lowell Basketball squads are already lining up future River Hawks.
Verbal commitments -- nothing on paper yet -- have come to the women's team from forward Lauren Fiola of Durfee High in Fall River, as well as guard AJ Guidi of Pinkerton Academy in New Hampshire.
Fiola is the sister of Southern Connecticut guard Alex Fiola.
The men got a commitment from guard Chris Thompson of Life Center Academy in New Jersey.
Salem skyscrapers: The Twin Towers of Lowell High will now be the towers of Salem State.
In case you were thinking you might see Whitney and Brianna Wilson playing at a prep school this year, you were wrong. The Wilson sisters will be bolstering the frontcourt of the Salem State Lady Vikings this winter.
Both were First Team Sun All-Stars last winter, with Brianna sharing Player of the Year honors with Westford's Asia Ewing.
Lowell High boys standout Nate Simpson will also play at Salem State this year.
The men's team earned a No. 12 ranking in the Division 3 News preseason poll.
Movers and shakers: Two familiar faces will be playing in new places this winter. Burlington point guard Zach Hurynowicz is slated to redo his sophomore year at the Holderness School. The Tilton School grabbed Lowell's Jeremy Driscoll to help reload after winning a national prep championship last year.
Lynn Worthy's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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