The Boston Celtics find themselves in a similar position to where they were in 2007. Lottery balls are the dangling carrot for most of the diehard fanatics as the season comes to a close and an All Star in his late 20s is left to ponder his future with the franchise. Celtics decision maker Danny Ainge has downplayed the upside of this hyped draft in comparison to past drafts, but anything a team executive says needs to be taken with a grain of salt as they could be managing fan expectations for the lottery or the eventual draft pick himself. I do plan to reveal my personality type prognosis for the talents projected to go at the top of the draft closer to the draft, but that’s for another day. Ainge has a similar collection of valuable assets to what he had in 2007 and was able to flip into a perennial contender. Many comparisons can be drawn between the annual All-Star shoe-ins, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, but you may be surprised to know that they share the same personality type as well. How might that affect the path the franchise and the player take from here?
Differences in the situations between Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo should definitely be noted. They play completely different positions and most teams have varying ideas about how a championship roster should ultimately be constructed. Pierce had also just signed an extension in 2006 and Rondo is only under contract for one more year. Rondo’s ACL tear is arguably more severe from a future performance perspective than Pierce’s stress fracture was. Having a championship ring in the trophy cabinet already is also a part of the equation for Rondo.
You can see the similarities between the two ISFPs if you have closely followed the team for the last decade. Pierce was thrust into the role of captain after Antoine Walker was shipped off and had a lot of trouble coping with it at first. He had some immaturity issues and being a leader day in and day out before being fully ready can be hard to handle for Feeling Introverts. Vocal leadership doesn’t come naturally to them. Pierce ended up under media scrutiny for getting ejected during a major playoff game and showing up to the press conference with a fake bandage. Clashes with Head Coach Doc Rivers also entered the fray. Rondo has come under a bit of heat for not traveling with the team because of a birthday celebration in Los Angeles in February of this year. Overall, Pierce is friendlier with the media and Rondo treats most reporters in an almost hostile manner. One word answers and death stares are a common occurrence when Rajon is talking to the press.
On the court, their games are very different, but some similarities can be seen with a close enough eye on the situation. Pierce is an elite historical scorer from an efficiency standpoint and Rondo is an elite historical passer. Pierce is an above average rebounder and passer for his position. Rondo puts up above average rebounding percentages for a point guard, but shooting has been a black mark against his game since college. Pierce is physically solid and uses deception, strength, and aggression to create his value on a court. Rondo is much more lean and quick and uses deception, speed, and an upper echelon handle to get to wherever he wants on the floor where he’s outstanding at finding open teammates or somehow creates an angle to slide in a layup past a big. Where I believe you can see their similar personalities is on the biggest of stages. They want the ball in big moments and have come through in big moments. Rondo has a reputation as someone who gets up for nationally televised games and the playoffs and Pierce has a long track record of strong playoff performances as well. Pierce and Rondo are both also well renowned for their so-called basketball IQ. They may look like they are rushing a bad shot, but Paul and Rajon have been the 2 most likely Celtics over the past decade to create 2 for 1 situations with the game clock at the end of quarters. Certain other players don’t seem to know a shot and game clock exist while the game is going on.
While Boston may think that Rajon owes them a bit of time since he has already won a ring there, it is not as cut and dry. An xSFP spends their time in the moment and they can perceive anything as a slight. What this means is that anything they might see in contract negotiations as a lowball offer might lose their respect and another situation that captures their infatuation could turn their head. They are not necessarily the most rational and he might not see any way out of this current Boston rebuild. He is sentimental, though, and the ISFP has more of a chance to be loyal to their career-long city and the people that drafted them. If Boston wants to re-sign him it is important that there is perceived optimism around Rajon and the team next summer when he becomes a free agent.