Did President Obama really insult Rajon Rondo's shooting ability?
By Matt Noonan
As American citizens, it’s quite easy to point fingers at the President of the United States, especially if it’s Barack Obama, however, some sports fans might want to reconsider why we’re blaming the commander and chief, who apparently “destroyed” Rajon Rondo’s shooting ability this past spring.
It’s not totally certain that Obama is the reason for Rondo’s poor shooting statistics with the Boston Celtics in March or April, but it’s quite possible that America’s leader stated something that affected the point guard, right?
Yet, how could one’s words derail an athlete? Seriously, how?
Well, according to multiple reports on Wednesday morning, as well as a portion of Shaquille O’Neal’s memoir with ESPNBoston.com columnist Jackie MacMullan, which is scheduled to debut on November 15, the Big Shamrock regaled the tale of the Green and White’s encounter with President Obama at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts this past March.
Slam Online’s Tzvi Twersky reported the story, as well as discovered the following excerpt from the book:
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. Everyone was a little bit in awe. The President turns to Ray, points at Rondo, and says, “Hey, Ray, why don’t you teach this kid how to shoot?” Everyone starts laughing.
KG 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.
So, with this being the case, one might have to wonder, should we indeed blame Obama for Rondo’s shooting woes? Again, how can one person impact a player’s shooting ability? Obama is indeed a true basketball supporter, however, it just seems rather bizarre that we’re all pointing the finger at him.
* Information for this specific post was also gathered from Kelly Dwyer‘s report on Yahoo! Sports.