Long after LeBron James moved into fourth place on the NBA all-time scoring list, and with the Los Angeles Lakers 49 seconds from suffering a fourth consecutive loss, Rajon Rondo checked out for the final time.
But rather than join his teammates on the bench, Rondo plopped into a vacated courtside seat. There were multiple options for the veteran point guard to choose from, and he ultimately settled on five chairs from Lakers head athletic trainer Marco Nuñez, who marks the end of the bench.
There was an empty seat on either side of Rondo as he stared forward, locked in on nothing in particular. The development, unsurprisingly, went viral on social media. Even if Rondo did not see reason for that to be the case.
“I’ve done it maybe eight to 10 times this year,” he said. “I don’t know why it’s a big deal now.”
Another instance in which Rondo was not seated next to teammates came during last month’s blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers. In that case he was next to Nuñez, with only a small walkway separating their chairs.
That largely went unnoticed because attention instead was on three empty spots separating James from the rest of his teammates on the bench.
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