Give Rajon Rondo credit for honesty. When interviewed at the Red Bull "King of the Rock" event on notorious Alcatraz Island, the speedy Celtics All-Star point guard named the fans at Chicago's United Center as the league's most obnoxious crowd.
"Id say Chicago," Rondo told RedBull.com. "Ever since a couple years back in the playoffs, me and Kirk Hinrich got into it and theyve been booing me and heckling me ever since."
At least Rondo put his answer into a personal context. Bulls fans have a long memory and now that the hometown team has ascended to an upper-echelon squad following Rondo's dust-up with fan favorite "Captain Kirk," in the Bulls and Celtics historic first-round series in 2009. Chicago supporters have let him hear it.
The fact that Rondo faces off with league MVP Derrick Rose in a matchup of two of the game's premier point guards also puts a target on his back. However, while fans at the UC may have a personal animus toward Rondo, it would be unfair to call the "Madhouse on Madison" crowd the league's most obnoxious, although the likes of Pacers veteran big man Jeff Foster might disagree.
Passionate? Yes, but when it comes to over-the-top behavior, the fans at Rondo's own home arena in Boston have to be up there, along with the crowds in Salt Lake City, New York, Denver and Philadelphia. Rondo is on the money when he cites Golden State's fans -- despite the Warriors' perennially losing ways -- as the NBA's loudest. Though fans in Portland and Oklahoma City could give them a run for their money.
Really, this debate comes down to semantics. One man's "obnoxious" is simply another man's "intense," which is what Rondo calls the crowd at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden. How would his former Celtics assistant coach, Tom Thibodeau, compare the two arenas now?
Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.