VAUGHT: Hobbs always believed in Rondo

Former Kentucky assistant coach Dave Hobbs would like to say he always knew Rajon Rondo would become the productive point guard he has so quickly in the NBA.

"Fortunately, I've been around a lot of people who have made it. It's hard to say exactly why some do and some don't. You try to identify certain characteristics," said Hobbs, who is now a scout with the Charlotte Bobcats.

"From a physical standpoint, he was always a guy you knew could do it even though he's slight in stature. He has tremendous speed and quickness. He has long arms. He anticipates well. He's a got who physically is stronger than he looks just like Tayshaun (Prince)."

So while there were no questions about Rondo's athleticism, there were skeptics about Rondo's shot and decision making even though the Boston Celtics made him a first-round draft pick two years ago after his sophomore season at Kentucky.

"The question was whether he would get the mental part more than anything else," Hobbs said. "Would he pick things up mentally and be a team guy and do the things coaches wanted? Those were the questions people had.

"But I knew he was a guy who was motivated to be good at that level. He studies the game. He did at Kentucky. He tried to figure things out. "But the thing I like more than anything is that he has really accepted his role with Boston. Or at least it appears that way. He's a defender and distributor. He can score if needed, but that's not his role because they don't have to have him score."

Even though Rondo still lacks a consistent outside shot, Hobbs knew he had other ways to contribute as he will do during the NBA Finals against Los Angeles.

"He was a pretty competitive guy. We never questioned that about him," Hobbs said. "He was always looking for ways to help us win. He's continued to figure things out and mature as a player. That's been fun to watch."

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