Oh, how the mighty have fallen. In the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, Rajon Rondo averaged 20.9 points, 11.3 assists and 6.9 rebounds against the juggernaut Miami Heat, pushing the eventual champions to an epic seven-game series. The legend of "Playoff Rondo" burned bright.
Fast forward three years later, and the legend of Playoff Rondo feels more like a myth. In the 2015 playoffs, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle sent Rondo home in the middle of a series against the Houston Rockets, mercifully ending a disastrous season for Rondo. Playoff Rondo now means something totally different.
The outlook for Rondo looks even dimmer, according to our ESPN Forecast results. When asked which newcomer will have the most disappointing impact in 2015-16, the ESPN panel overwhelmingly chose the enigmatic Rondo, who joins the equally enigmatic Sacramento Kings on a one-year deal.
It's a curious choice because of that operative word -- disappointing -- which assumes expectations are high for a guy who almost single-handedly neutered the Mavericks' high-powered offense and basically got fired on the NBA's biggest stage. But then again, the Kings have their own hopes up, shelling out $10 million for his services -- almost twice the annual salary of free-agent point guards Patrick Beverley, C.J. Watson and Jameer Nelson.
Keep your expectations low. Statistically, Rondo has made his teams worse for about three seasons running. The isn't a one-season blip. It's more likely that the league has passed Rondo by. Not only has the league changed, but so has Rondo.