It was announced this week that Kemba Walker will be out until at least early January with a knee injury that continues to bother him and it got me thinking, why are all of the Celtics point guards almost always suffering from a debilitating injury? Is there some sort of curse on this team? Is this the curse of trading Rajon Rondo? The Celtics traded their, at the time, best player and 4x All-Star in Rondo on Dec. 18th, 2014 and the team has been like the Red Sox trying to replace Nomar at shortstop ever since. Pokey Reese, Orlando Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, Julio Lugo, Alex Gonzalez etc. etc. Ever since trading Rondo it seems like Celtics have seemingly always had a point guard dealing with career altering injuries.
Kemba met with the media today and detailed how his knee is still bothering him and how he got a stem cell injection to hopefully help, but he still doesn’t really know what the issue is. Cool. Kemba played his fewest minutes per game since his rookie year last season and started just 56 games in his first season with the C’s, which obviously was a disjointed mess due to the pandemic. Even Danny Ainge admits the team probably brought Kemba back from injury too soon as he played on a gimpy knee throughout the entire bubble it seemed.
Before that is what Kyrie Irving who missed 20+ games in 2017-18 plus the entire postseason with a knee injury of his own. Kyrie then missed 15 games the following season as he nursed the injury on his way out of town. I guess that shouldn’t have come as a surprise as Kyrie missed 10 or more games in five different seasons prior to his time in Boston, not to mention playing just 11 games at Duke before an injury ended his brief college career.
Before that it was Isaiah Thomas who had a debilitating hip injury in the 2017 playoffs. Granted it was in the playoffs and the Celtics traded him that offseason, but his absence killed a surging Celtics team that was making a run. Before that Isaiah was absolute nails as he finished 5th in MVP voting, playing in 76 regular season games (28.9 Points per game) that season, and 82 games (22.2 PPG) in 2015-16.
The Celtics did also draft Marcus Smart before the 2015 season at No. 6 overall, but opted to use him more as an off ball player/backup PG. Maybe Danny was protecting Smarf from the curse??
Looking back at the timeline of all this, the Celtics actually acquired Isaiah just two months after trading away Rondo so now I’m torn. Is this the curse of Rondo or Isaiah? Since the C’s traded Rondo he has yet to make another All-Star team and has only averaged double digit points once, but he did just win a ring with LeBron and the Lakers. Isaiah however has continued the #SlowGrind as he works his way back from said hip injury, but a lot of the league still thinks Danny did Isaiah dirty.
So name it after whoever you want, but one thing is clear, the Celtics are cursed at the point guard position.