It's one of the NBA's open secrets: Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo passes up layups and potential good looks for himself in order to cobble together impressive assist totals. He's fantastic enough of a player to approximate his league-leading 12.3 assists per game as it is and without the extra effort, but that still won't stop Rajon as he attempts to continue to keep his 33-game streak of double-digit assist games alive.
One of the NBA's other least-kept secrets is the fact that players are often acutely aware of where they're at regarding individual statistical hallmarks. Whether a player is going for a career-high in something, a triple-double, or a bonus-earning box score feat, NBA players young and old will purposely disrupt a game plan (or, sometimes worse, successfully lobby a head coach) in order to add a few more ticks to the ledger, irrespective of the score.
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It's also a barely-guarded secret that scorekeepers in every NBA city have gotten more and more liberal with their handout of the assist over the last few decades. Sometimes it doesn't bother a scorekeeper that the player on the receiving end of an "assist" actually did all the work to create the shot he just scored on.
Sometimes, all these just about open secrets are revealed all at once. And because every team has one of those cameras handy these days, we can show you Rajon Rondo pushing the limits of good taste and the definition of an assist in these pages. Like when he and his Celtics, already down 21 points against a terrible Detroit Pistons team on Sunday, kept Rondo in for his 38th minute during his fourth game in five nights so that he could earn that final dime. Watch, starting at the 40 second mark of this clip: