Rajon Rondo is in his 13th NBA season, now with the Los Angeles Lakers. After winning a championship with the Boston Celtics where he played for eight seasons, he bounced around the NBA for a couple of seasons after settling in with the team in purple and gold.
He missed over half of this season because of injuries and suspension he received because of that scuffle with Chris Paul and is now approaching the season with a fresh mindset. In a great interview with The Undefeated, Rondo touched upon different things about his career and the one being his time with the Boston Celtics and the relationship he had with several of his teammates.
Even though he spent his the most fruitful days of his career in Boston, back in 2007, they had different plans for a young point guard coming into the league, and it was none other than Kevin Garnett who wanted to keep Rondo with the team.
"If I didn’t get connected with Kevin, I don’t know where I would be in the league. I was in the deal to Minnesota in 2007. There were seven players. I saw my name on the ticker on the screen and said, ‘S—, it’s over.’ And that particular time I was ready to get out of Boston anyway because it was a miserable season. We lost 18 straight. I was playing behind two guys as the third-string point guard. I was ready to move on to a new chapter. I come to find out, he told the Celtics that he wanted me there. I’m sure [Celtics president] Danny Ainge loved me, but I think KG had a lot to do with me staying as a Celtic."
It didn't take long for Kevin Garnett to realize Rondon is a type of point guard who could fit the system they were trying to implement with the Celtics. In his own manner, he referred to Rajon Rondo as the "African guy" he wants on his team.
"There was one play in particular that he saw. He was at home watching a game of me against the [New York] Knicks, and you have to get him as far as the quote, but he said, ‘I want the African guy to stay’ or something. Because of my name, he thought I was African. He’s a jokester. He’s the best teammate I’ve ever played with, hands down. He was the best power forward in the game, hands down, as far as what he brought to the team and assisting young players. That is why I am who I am. That is why I believe in giving back because he paved the way for me."
Rondo was eventually a four-time NBA All-Star when playing for the Boston Celtics. He won the NBA championship back in 2008 when they beat the Los Angeles Lakers and was one of the best pure point guards in the league for a couple of seasons.
It will be of crucial importance for the Lakers to have a healthy Rajon Rondo back in action for the rest of the season, especially since they are aiming for the playoffs this season. And we know that when meaningful games are on the line, having an experienced veteran as Rondo could be of tremendous help to the team.