Rajon Rondo is the latest addition to the Los Angeles Lakers star-laden roster as the veteran point guard is officially back in the Purple and Gold after being bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Though many of these players may not be in their physical prime anymore, having LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard and Rondo all on the same team is something nobody could have ever dreamed of.
Being in the NBA since 2007, Rondo has had more than his fair share of battles with all of these players over the years, some of them getting rather heated and contentious. But that doesn’t mean Rondo isn’t looking forward to teaming up with these stars for the first time as he made very clear when he singled out Anthony, Westbrook and Trevor Ariza as players he’s looking forward to playing with.
“Carmelo. Obviously Russ and even talked to Trev [Ariza],” Rondo said during his introductory press conference. “I’m look forward to talking to Trev and learn his mind, his focus. Did Trev beat me? I think Trev beat me a couple years ago back in the ’10 Finals.
“So like I said, we’ve got a lot of great battles. A lot of these guys are now teammates, so I’m looking forward to putting everything in the past and putting it together for the greater good of the team and win a championship here.”
Rondo’s memory is a bit off as Ariza was not on the 2010 Lakers who defeated Rondo and the Boston Celtics. On the contrary, Rondo actually owns a Finals victory over Ariza, who played a minor role on the 2008 Lakers team that lost to the Celtics in six games.
Putting that aside, however, Rondo should be able to provide some excellent support for the likes of Anthony and Ariza, setting them up for easy looks. Rondo and Westbrook seem unlikely to play a ton of minutes together, but the two could still be excellent teammates, helping each other with what they are seeing on the court.
Sacrifice has been the word of the offseason for the Lakers and everyone is preaching that heading into what will be a season unlike any other. Rondo may not have said it outright, but putting your ego with any past beefs and grievances to the side to come together for one common goal is the definition of sacrifice.
Rajon Rondo doesn’t believe his game has declined
When it comes to what Rondo can bring to the Lakers on the court, he believes he is just as good as he was during the team’s 2020 championship run, despite a down year last season.
“Like I said, it hasn’t been 10 years,” Rondo said. “I don’t think I’ve changed much. I don’t think my game has declined, but you are only as good as your coach believes in you. Going forward this year looking at the Lakers team and the roster and understanding where I am in my career but at the same time, I do believe I can still bring a lot to the game. My main focus is we win, nothing else matters.”
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