How is Rajon Rondo keeping busy while he rehabs from his ACL surgery? Connect Four. Yes, that game you used to play where you drop the discs into a grid attempting to get four in a row. As the commercial used to say, “Go for it, Conn-ect Four!!”
If you follow Rondo on Twitter, his love for the game is not news, as he tweets about it and posts pictures like the one above regularly. Lee Jenkins profiled Rondo for the latest Sports Illustrated, which hasn’t hit newsstands yet, but the portions of his article about Connect Four have already popped up on the web. Instead of doing standard meet and greets at various charities across Boston, Rondo chooses to play Connect Four with kids, sometimes playing three grids at a time. Until recently, Rondo had never lost a game. That is until he met 12-year-old Olissa, who captured the rare win over Rondo, who was so enraged that he challenged him to five rematches and won every single one of them:
Later that day Rondo sat behind a table and three girls. Across from him there were more than 100 children he had showered with bikes, Razor scooters and iPod Touches that he bought at Target and distributed from the back of a U-Haul. “I thought he might let us win,” said a 12 year-old named Olissa. “But he was so serious.”
Olissa was the last challenger. He stared back at Rondo through wire-rimmed glasses. He clenched teeth covered with braces. He initiated what he called a trap, forcing Rondo to the right side of the grid, putting him on the defensive. When Olissa dropped the winning disk, Celtics officials started to shout. Meyerson grabbed the microphone. “This has never happened!” he bellowed.
“I can’t believe it,” [Rondo] said. “But did you notice I played the guy five more times and won them all? I had to show him, ‘You beat me, I’ll beat the s*** out of you.'”
Note to self: never challenge Rajon Rondo to a game of Connect Four.