Entering the league in 2006 as a 1st round pick out of Kentucky, Point Guard Rajon Rondo entered the league at the perfect time for his gameplay. He was drafted 21st overall in the 2006 draft by the Phoenix Suns but he never actually played a single minute for the team. His first NBA minute came with the Boston Celtics at the age of 20 and while he played in 78 games that season, he only started 25 of them. In his second year, he joined forces with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen to win the NBA Championship, the first Celtics championship since Larry Bird.
Rondo has never been known for his shooting and many believed once the league turned to shooting-first Point Guards, Rondo would no longer be wanted by teams in the league. Since leaving Boston in the 2014-2015 NBA season, Rondo has played for a different team every single year except for this coming season when it will be his second consecutive season with the Los Angeles Lakers, the favorites for the NBA Championship. Since departing from Boston, Rondo’s 3-point shooting percentage has not dropped below .300 whereas when he was with the Celtics it never eclipsed that same mark. No matter where Rondo went, though, he always brought his team-colored headband with him.
Rondo is known as a solid sized Point Guard with giant hands, incredible passing and ball-handling ability, and his trademark headband. From Boston to Dallas, Sacramento to Chicago, and New Orleans to Los Angeles, Rondo always finds a headband with his team’s primary or secondary color. Honestly, it is nothing special. It is your generic NBA branded headband you could find at your local sporting goods store but, for some reason, Rondo seemed to play better with his headband on. When Rondo went to Dallas midway through the 2014-2015 season, you could see noticeable changes in his gameplay when he wore his headband. In a 15 game span with Dallas, Rondo wore his headband for six of the 15 games played. Comparing the six games he wore his headband to the nine that he didn’t, Rondo averaged more points per game, more rebounds per game, fewer turnovers per game, and a better field goal percentage. There must be some form of magic in that headband because it is crazy to see the actual differences when he does and does not wear his headband.
Chances are, it is all mental. Do you ever do something as a pre-game ritual? Or maybe wear a certain type of clothing or warm up in a certain way to help you play better? This could very well be the case of Rondo where when he wears that headband, he is confident that he can play his best basketball against anybody in the world. This upcoming season he teams up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the closest thing he has had since the Big 3 in Boston back in 2008. Rondo’s stats should skyrocket this season, especially in the assists column, so watch out to see if he is wearing his signature headband. Chances are he will play better with it on.