In Shaq's new book – Shaq Uncut – O'Neal reveals an interesting story involving President Obama and Rajon Rondo:
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.
My initial response is that Shaq is overreacting. No way a presidential one-liner could affect Rondo on the court.
Rondo was shooting over 50% for most of the season. His drop-off began in… March (48%) and worsened in April (40%). Hmmm…
Shaq's notion that Rondo stopped taking shots is not true. Rondo averaged more shots per game in March and April than in November, December and January.
The Republican in me wants to blame Obama, but I just don't buy it.