Obviously the biggest addition the Los Angeles Lakers made this offseason was signing LeBron James. In the eyes of many, the next most important signing was point guard Rajon Rondo.
Rondo is a major upgrade over the Lakers’ backup point guards of last year and can serve as a teacher and mentor for Lonzo Ball who’s entering his second year. James and Rondo have their own bit of history, having competed against each other for years in some intense playoff battles.
That has led to a healthy amount of respect between the two.
“Rondo, in my career since I’ve competed against him over the years, has always been one of the most cerebral players, smartest players that I’ve ever competed against, and one of the most competitive guys I’ve ever competed against,” James said at Lakers Media Day.
“He knows everything that’s going on on the floor. He knows everything that you’re doing, he knows everything the team is doing. He knows all the strengths and weaknesses. When you see yourself in someone on the opposing side, you think someday it would be crazy if you ever teamed up and were able to join forces with that type of cerebral mentality where you know exactly what is going on before every possession.
“It’s going to be a really cool moment when I step on the floor with Rondo. Just knowing things that he sees and he knows things that I see, with us never having to say anything. There’s not many of us in this league that can actually think and prepare in our minds before we even step on the floor, like the two of us.”
That feeling is mutual as Rondo is also relishing the opportunity to share the floor with James. “I’m excited about the opportunity to play with a guy that’s on that level of excitement and understanding how to break down the game physically and mentally,” he said. “LeBron is one of the greatest IQ players we’ve ever seen in this game.”
There is no doubt that one of the biggest, if not the biggest strength for both of the veterans is their mind. Their high basketball IQ will not only help one another on the floor, but also in teaching the Lakers’ young core and helping them to grow.
“It’s going to be a really cool moment when I step on the floor with Rondo,” James said.