When I was at the Blogs With Balls Conference in June, I met a lot of great people and fantastic, young writers. Some were established with legitimate writing/journalism jobs and some were just as established as yours truly. One of the people I finally got to meet was Jessica Camerato of WEEI in Boston. She covers the Boston Celtics on a daily basis for them and does an amazing job doing so.
Well, she just wrote a fantastic piece talking about Rajon Rondo’s progress and journey as a young point guard trying to figure out how to be successful in the NBA. Why does a piece on a Celtics player matter to Kings fans? Well, she spoke to Tyreke Evans about it and asked for his take on Rondo being an example for young point guards.
“He just goes out there and plays hard every game,” Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans told WEEI.com. “He goes out there, plays with his teammates, plays defense, gets to the basket. He does everything that his team needs him to do.”
And doesn’t that really just scream of what Kings fans want Tyreke Evans to do at the NBA level? Everybody wants him to be a team player and not just worry about his personal offense. He needs to be a more traditional point guard in many fans’ eyes, especially after the Kings passed on Ricky Rubio, someone who is assumed to be a potential star by excelling at the traditional point guard role. His defense has the potential to be consistently disruptive. He should be able to use pterodactyl wingspan to take lazy passes, high crossover dribbles and tip pull-up jumpers. And getting to the basket? We all know since his jumper is still a work in progress that he’ll be attacking the basket like Eddy Curry attacks the Hometown Buffet.
Rondo is a perfect example for someone like Evans. They share the same strengths and weaknesses heading into their rookie years. Except, Evans is a better scorer and a much bigger, stronger player. He won’t struggle the same way Rondo did his rookie year but at the same time, he’ll be able to use Rondo’s progress and example to learn how to play smarter, more controlled basketball. And if the Kings decide down the road to trade young assets for veterans that are able to win more games, he can similarly feed off of those veterans while maximizing what he does best on the court.
It took Rondo just two years to accomplish what iconic guards Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have yet to achieve. Now entering his fourth season, he already is looking to win title number two. Rondo’s near-instant success serves as an example for hungry guards looking to taste victory in the NBA.
“That’s big,” said Evans. “Going out there at an age like that, going out there and playing with KG, Ray Allen, those type of guys, and winning a championship, that’s pretty good.”
One thing I firmly believe is that you won’t find a hungrier, more determined guard in this draft class than Tyreke Evans. He has more to prove than anybody until Ricky Rubio comes over. And even then, he’ll still be having to prove himself as he develops and finds the balance between a scoring point guard and a more traditional point guard.