When the Los Angeles Lakers added Rajon Rondo to their roster, there was some concern as to whether he would accept a role behind Lonzo Ball in the rotation. Rondo is by several accounts one of the NBA’s more headstrong players, and while competition is usually a good thing, you don’t necessarily want it to come at someone as promising as Lonzo Ball’s expense.
Fortunately, Rondo quelled a lot of that concern with some of his first statements having officially signed his Lakers contract.
“He’s (Lonzo) going to be a great player in this league ... To have that much pressure at a young age, having a guy like LeBron is going to help him... Every point I can help him with on or off the court, I’m happy to help him as well.”
Speaking of LeBron, Rondo sounds pretty excited to team up despite having had so many tough playoff matchups against James.
“I’m excited to team up with him. I believe iron sharpens iron... Playing with a guy with that IQ level that everyone raves about, and then me watching him throughout this last playoffs and throughout his career... I’m excited to play with a guy that thinks the game at such a high level.”
It would be fascinating to hear the conversations (and shit-talking) between Rondo, Luke Walton and LeBron. They’ve competed against each other at some point and you can tell there’s a mutual respect you only build through such tough situations. Hence, the iron sharpens iron analogy Rondo uses above.
While Rondo has ruffled feathers at his various stops along his career, there are quite a few stories about his basketball IQ and leadership abilities, especially with younger guards. The one knock has been his effort level when the team he plays for isn’t competitive and, well, it’s hard to see a team with LeBron on it not at least being competitive.
Make no mistake about it. Rondo sees this as an opportunity to really contend for a title. It sure sounds like it’s driving him.
“It feels like two decades ago when I won. I’m hungry to win again. I’m sick of seeing the same teams win a championship, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
“I’m looking forward to partnering with these young guys and trying to win a championship.”
We’ll see how all this plays out but at the very least it’s good to hear these kinds of quotes. You can listen to the full interviews below.