An excerpt of Jackie MacMullan's forthcoming biography of Shaquille O'Neal, entitled "Shaq Uncut," provides some insight into why Rajon Rondo may have struggled after the trade of his close friend and Celtics teammate Kendrick Perkins -- and the reason will come as a surprise.
According to the excerpt, published by SLAM Online, a joke by President Barack Obama during a fundraiser on March 8 at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts may have sent Rondo into a tailspin. Here's the passage in its entirety:
In early March some of the guys went to the museum of Fine Arts for a fund-raiser and got to hang with President Barack Obama. Eveyrone was a little bit in awe. The President turns to Ray [Allen], points at Rondo, and says, "Hey, Ray, why don't you teach this kid how to shoot?" Everyone starts laughing ...
KG [Kevin Garnett] told me he saw the look on Rondo's face and the kid was devastated, embarrassed. Dissed by the President, even though I'm sure Obama didn't mean any harm. Rondo smiled and went along with all of it, but KG told me he could see it in his eyes. It bothered Rondo. It killed him.
The next day Rondo shot the ball horribly. He stopped taking shots after that. He's so sensitive. I think it was a real jolt to hear the outside perception of a basketball fan who happens to be the President of the United States. It messed with his mind. I'm sure of it.
Rondo shot 6-for-15 in a 108-103 loss to the Clippers the following night, totaling 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
For more on this story and the Celtics, visit weei.com/celtics.
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