The Los Angeles Lakers have added yet another familiar face to their roster ahead of the upcoming season and it is one who was absolutely crucial in the team’s 2020 championship run. Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo has returned to the Lakers after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Memphis Grizzlies and he will be looking to recapture the form that caused everyone to put some more respect on “Playoff Rondo.”
Following the 2020 championship, Rondo signed a $15 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, an amount of money the Lakers were unable to match. The fit, however, didn’t seem to be there and he was dealt midseason to the Los Angeles Clippers where again, things just didn’t work out.
Rondo’s lackluster run with the Clippers has many believing he can’t return to even his 2020 playoff form, but the veteran disagrees and took a subtle shot at Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue. “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.”
Rondo also added that he’s not concerned with playing time, just the Lakers winning.
“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.”
How much Rondo can still bring to the team this season is unclear, but if there is a place where the best can be brought out it is with the Lakers and LeBron James. But as he said, the most important thing is winning and that could be important as his spot in the rotation isn’t guaranteed.
In addition to Russell Westbrook, who will be the team’s starting point guard, the Lakers also added Kendrick Nunn at the position while Talen Horton-Tucker, Kent Bazemore and Malik Monk will all be vying for backcourt minutes as well. It isn’t inconceivable that Rondo is more of a veteran voice in the locker room while having a minimal on-court impact.
But one thing that has been proven over the years is that Rondo comes through more often than not in the biggest situations. And having another reliable option to turn to in different moments is something that Frank Vogel will always be satisfied with.
Rondo wants to bring a Lakers parade to Los Angeles
While Rondo helped the Lakers win another NBA Championship, the celebration wasn’t what most had hoped as the team was unable to have their championship parade because of the pandemic. Because of that, Rondo is inspired to win another one and give the fans the parade they never got.
“Just a positive mindset, a forward mindset understanding that we didn’t get our parade but coming back off, it’ll be a year of being a champion, you want to do it again. And I want obviously a parade here in L.A. and this is I think a special team that could possibly make that happen.”
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