Aug 17, 2011, 11:05 AM EDT
Rajon Rondo’s late-season shooting woes are still a topic of conversation in Boston — during one three-game stretch last season he scored the fewest points by a Celtics starter since Brian Scalabrine in January 2008. But what caused the free fall? In his upcoming book, Shaquille O’Neal says Rondo’s slump was due to Barack Obama.
The book, Shaq Uncut (written with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan), is due in stores in November. It includes this story about the Celtics meeting with President Obama, where an off-hand remark by the President may have had dire consequences for Rondo and the Celtics. From Shaq Uncut:
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.
Of course, Obama is a Bulls fan. Let’s not jump to the conclusion that this was not planned.
Anyway, concerning the title of Shaq’s book: considering the stories I’ve seen lately involving O’Neal, I’m pretty confident that his book is nowhere close to “uncut.” In fact it may be the most cut sports book of the year.
Shaq: Obama to blame for Rondo’s struggles [CSNNE]
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