Everything was going too swimmingly for Rajon Rondo.
Starting point guard for the Boston Celtics. World Champion. Reebok commercials. Triple-doubles galore. Recognition as the next "great" point guard.
All by age 23.
This is the same Rajon Rondo who, on draft day in 2006, drew this comment from ESPN college basketball expert Jay Bilas, "The problem is he can't shoot."
Rondo still can't shoot, but he can run an offense.
Now comes the dirt.
He's pig-headed. He's not a leader. He's been tardy too many times to games, including a playoff tilt. And, maybe worst of all, he wants to be among the richest players in pro basketball.
And lest I forget, he still can't hit the open jump shot.
By the time you are eating your Cheerios this morning, Rondo could be headed elsewhere, maybe Memphis. If not this morning then by lunch time.
If that's the case, that will really be too bad. But the person to blame won't be Celtics president Danny Ainge or even head coach Doc Rivers, both of whom are Hall of Fame gentlemen.
It will have been Rondo's fault.
If you're wondering why the Celtics had the opportunity to draft Rondo (Phoenix really drafted him and then immediately dealt him to Boston) with the 21st overall pick, it was dirt and the jump shot.
Even in college, Rondo always made those "Rondo moves," faking passes behind his back and laying it in or faking a lay-in and then taking a fallaway jumper.
He could always run a team, too, which University of Kentucky fans loved.
But Rondo's attitude translates to him knowing more about the game than the very expensive coaching staff. He's really good, but he's really a jerk sometimes.
He appeared to grow up the last two seasons under the tutelage of his coach, a former NBA starting point guard, and three Hall of Famers in the starting lineup.
Yet, there have been several bouts with Rivers and Ray Allen over the last two seasons.
Rondo apparently doesn't realize it, but he's the luckiest point guard in the world.
The fact that he got tossed into the starting lineup at such a young age, with three true professionals, is almost unheard of.
And what about the Celtics Mystique? Didn't any of that rub off on him? Hasn't he looked up at the banners or checked the stands and seen Bill Russell, JoJo White, John Havlicek or Tommy Heinsohn, and got goose bumps? Does that mean anything to him?
Does he understand that being part of a champion AND a being a long-time Celtic increases the odds of getting into the Hall of Fame by maybe 25 percent?
Rondo's problem is age. He is only 23 and he's had more success than he knows how to handle. He is also part of the AAU generation in which questioning authority is the rule rather than the exception.
Hopefully, it's not too late. Rondo has a lot of nice qualities, including the way he treats people. He's always answered questions, even the tough ones.
If Rondo were dealt to a team without a Hall of Famer or two, he would understand how lucky he was here. If he wants to be the man, like Kobe Bryant demanded a half-dozen or so years ago, he'd find out that it is a lot easier said than done.
Rondo has a chance to be one of the best point guards in the league, right here in Boston, once he can be counted on to hit that open jumper from 18 feet away.
Then he will be an All-Star. Then he can demand the big money. Then he can have a little attitude.
E-mail Bill Burt@eagletribune.com.