When Tommy Heinsohn, the Celtics legend who loves Rondo, calls him out on television, and then rookie understudy Paul Pressey proceeds to show Rondo how it's done in two games where Rondo is sidelined, to Heinsohn's delight, it's probably fair to say that an important career moment has come for Rondo. It's been said over and over again, rightly, that Rondo's stubbornness is a big part of what makes him a great player, but it's also been rightly said that it is at the same time a vice that could destroy his career.
Of course, nearly everyone who has commented on Heinie's words has gotten them twisted. So far as I know, Heinsohn has never said that Rondo controls the ball too much. I can't imagine that he ever would say that. Rondo is a peerless playmaker. You don't want to take the ball out of his hands. What Heinsohn has emphasized over and over and over again is PACE. Apparently Stephens has been going crazy trying to get Rondo to push the tempo more. I think every fan, whether they love or hate Rondo, has been going crazy over the same thing. Watching Rondo walk the ball up play after play after play, year after year, has been one of the most nauseating things in sports, frankly. As important as the halfcourt game is, basketball is and always will be a transition game. If the whole point of the halfcourt offense is to distort the defense and push it off balance so that you can get a matchup or shot that is favorable to you, wouldn't it be better to not let the defense get comfortably set in the first place? Of course it would. Rondo likes to lull defenses, and that's why he slows it down sometimes, but as Heinsohn says, it seems to have become a set habit with him.
Rondo needs to show that he is hearing the criticism. I'd like to see him play at least one more game to show that he hears the criticism and is prepared to respond constructively to it. Control the tempo more and push it a lot more. Come on Rondo.